Online Retail – Strategies That Lead to Better Sales [infographic]

Strategy Plan One

July 1, 2012

Online Retail

This creative infographic points out the specific tactics online retailers use to draw in customers to more steps in the purchase process, leading to more sales.  The infographic breaks the process down into six distinct, tactical areas, including creative design of the site, ease of the purchase process, feedback and testimonials, pricing strategies, time factors, and additional actions.

Design factors to draw in online retail customers:

  • Color – emotional responses to differing colors
  • Content marketing with selection of words and descriptions, targeting markets
  • Inserting pages with video to sell more

Online Retail Purchase Process:

  • One click buying
  • Quick loading of pages (helps in the spontaneous purchase process)
  • Mobile enabled, as online mobile purchase trends are favorable
  • Safe and secure sites, allowing safe data storage for future sales

Reviews, Feedback and Testimonials:

  • Endorsements bring sales
  • Consumer reviews are powerful
  • Ratings and feedback mechanisms result in better sales, better ROI

Online Retail Pricing Strategies:

  • Free trial then buy works
  • With free shipping, more spent on items
  • Revenues add up fast with additional discounted items offered

Time Factor with Online Retail:

  • Personalized deal time window is effective
  • Adding timing add urgency to the process
  • Time or number limitations create more interest

Additional Call to Actions:

  • Reminders and ancillary purchase links generate more add-on sales
  • Links on additional buys is an effective sales strategy
  • Ads centered on your buys assist in future sales

online retail - strategies

Source: Visual.ly,   VoucherCodes

Online retailers need to be more strategic in the ever increasingly competitive online retail industry.  Businesses and entrepreneurs must undertake adequate research and planning prior to launching their online retail ventures.  It helps to develop a plan through the strategic steps of establishing objectives, options, methods, implementation, measurement of results and revisions as necessary.

More Online Retail and Consumer Articles:

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SEO Guide to Higher Conversions with a Few Steps [infographic]

Strategy Plan One

June 28, 2012 

SEO Guide

A few strategic steps have been pointed out by SeoGadget in this infographic, to obtain higher conversion rates on sites.

To note, the steps highlighted in this infographic follow the steps in strategic thinking and  strategic planning, including identification of issues, development of options, selection and implementation, and measuring results and revisions.  The steps and methodologies pointed out in the infographic include:

  • Establishing funnels and use of measurement tools
  • Using analytics to measure what is going on with visitor actions on websites
  • More tools to determine the barriers to conversion
  • Surveying internal staff and customers on the process, barriers, feedback to conversion
  • Gathering and implementing more external feedback mechanisms on your products, site, service
  • Building strong marketing and advertising programs
  • Framing the solutions
  • Testing, review of methods and results, revision and repeat

SEO guide - optimization

Source: SeoGadget 

Other relevant blogs, articles and infographics you may find interesting:

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Effective Decision Making Processes Integrated at all Business Levels

Strategy Plan One

April 27, 2012 

effective decision makingEffective Decision Making Process

Every business opportunity, every operational activity, and every financial budget requires decisions.  Decisions can be made in an ad-hoc, instantaneous manner, but we have all encountered challenges that occur after a snap decision.

 

Effective decision making processes set the stage for standards for making the right decision, involving the right people in your organization, with appropriate tools and mechanisms.  Great effective decision making processes will make your organization and professionals more responsible and accountable for decisions made

As an entrepreneur you will develop procedures that will need to be done to make a decision.  You will integrate specific staff members, at all levels, into the decision making process that will make a better informed, effective decision.

Elements of Effective Decision Making Process

Similar to a strategic planning cycle, decision making processes follow a set of steps:

  1. Identification of the Issue
  2. Development of options to resolve
  3. Selection of the best option
  4. Recommendation of the option
  5. Approval of the proposed solution
  6. Implementation of the best option
  7. Measurement of result
  8. Revision of the process / options 

effective decision makingYou will determine who on your team should be involved and should participate in decision making.  You will want to involve those who are functional specialists who will inform you on the best operational, ground-level solution and what the implications are.  You will also want to involve unit managers and supervisors who can recommend the best option after being informed by their area experts.  Keep in mind, you want to have a streamlined decision making process and not to include too many.   Less is best when decision time frames need to be considered or if client services are impacted by decision time frames.  You can still develop a highly accountable decision making process with select staff, streamlining approvals through one stream of employees.

Effective Decision Making Processes – Determining Priorities

Decisions need to be prioritized, with reference to many factors that do go into why decision need to be made and to determine which decisions need to be focused on and approved first.

You may determine priority decisions be made by the following factors:

  • Time factor or time limiting
  • Emerging, immediate needs
  • Client service focus
  • Financial impacts
  • Risks to the organization

effective decision making

Effective Decision Making Processes – Risk Management

A strong and embedded effective decision making process in your business will minimize the risk to all aspects of your business along the way.  As mentioned the stronger your decision making process, the more accountable your staff, units, managers and the business itself will be.  As a good planning practice, you should develop your business plan to reflect effective decision making processes at operational, management and corporate levels.

 

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© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Economic Efficiency – 5 Tips to Create Efficiencies in Your Business

Strategy Plan One

April 17, 2012 

economic efficiencyEconomic Efficiency

In tough economic times, the global economic environment is striving for economic efficiency.  As an entrepreneur you need to keep operations running smooth and cost-effective.  

 

 

Competitive environments require team solutions and creativity in developing and implementing efficiencies in your business.  Through economic efficiency and efficient operations your business will realize a higher earning potential and at the same time, experience reduced, cost-effective methods and procedures to earning that revenue.

Here are 5 tips to creating economic efficiency in your business.

Economic Efficiency – Eliminate Redundant Procedures in Your Business

Undertake an operational review to identify unnecessary repetitive methods and procedures.  Many approval processes go way over board in requiring multiple persons to review, analyze and either recommend approval or approve a project, cost, or contract.  Federal government processes in many cases highlight this problem, as procedures go over the top to ensure the highest accountability.  Maintain your accountability, but streamline your operations to the necessary reduced human resources to make decisions.  Rely on and empower your professional team to make great recommendations at each level.  With elimination of steps in procedures, your operation will be more cost-effective.

Implement Technology Wherever it Makes Sense for Economic Efficiency

Automate procedures when it makes sense from operational and budgetary perspectives.  Reduce laborious tasks if automation and technology can do the same task more efficiently and cost-effective over the long run.  The implementation of Kiva System robots in warehouse operations is one example of efficiencies gained through automation.  It would also be a shocker if businesses have still not adapted to computerized sales, accounting and inventory systems – a must in business operations to keep competitive and cost-effective.

economic efficiencyEconomic Efficiency – Make it Easier For Everyone to work together

In business operations today, being all physically located in one location is not as important as it was decades ago, due to improved technology and connectedness.

Through innovation and technology, staff can work at any location and be easily connected by phone, mobile device, web or cloud-based applications.  All current technology methods make communication and business functions more smooth and easy.  Businesses that can provide work-life balance flexibilities and mechanisms, can ensure the work can get easily done from any location.  Collaboration across units, teams and partners can happen seamlessly with the implementation and the availability of smart technology in your organization.

Business Efficiencies – Making the Customer Process Easier

Straight forward information and sales procedures for your products and services will make the overall experience with customers more effective and efficient.  Make the product or service information readily available to the customer, whether at a physical location or web-based.  When designing e-commerce sites, ensure the client can easily navigate through to the completion of the sales process.  Nail down a streamlined sales process both internally and externally and ensure that your have contingency CRM plans to deal with issues around customer complaints.  The more prepared you are, the less time per customer it will take to generate revenue or resolve an issue.  More time can then be spent on building the relationship aspect of customer service with more customers.

Business Efficiencies – Getting the work done without the Travel

If you want to quickly and effectively reduce costs in your organization, travel budgets can be significantly reduced, while getting the same scope of work (meetings) done by using technology.  Phone and video conferencing can easily replace face-to-face meetings and the costs associated.  Meeting in person may be the richest form of communication in cutting a deal or working collaboratively.  However utilizing video conferencing or using Skype or other forms is more the standard and acceptable these days.  As an entrepreneur you will have to make a careful decision on the appropriate forms of communication for the appropriate audience, while cognizant of the need for cost-effective methods.

Economic efficiency can be achieved in your business, however ensure you take adequate business planning steps to maximize benefits from reduced resources and methods.

 

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© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Strategies to Improve Performance in your Personal Life and Business

Strategy Plan One

April 9, 2012 

improve performanceImprove Performance

One should never be fully satisfied that they have reached their performance peak, that no further improvements to any aspect would be necessary.  With rapidly changing environments, entrepreneurs and successful professionals must constantly seek methods to improve, on a personal and business level.

 

To stay on top on the cutting edge, innovative level, you will need to engage in a systematic process of continuous improvement.

Determine your Performance Goals

There should always be a purpose behind a strategy, plan, or movement to improve performance.  You need to determine why you need or want to improve performance.  This purpose will set the stage to improve performance.  Performance goals can help guide you to an end point, assisting you to keep focused on the objective to improve performance.  Every professional and entrepreneur has differing performance goals, and differing levels to reach.

Ensure that you identify a strong performance goal, that is measurable and linked to a time frame (i.e. :  Personal goal of achieving 5% more income by the end of 8 months, or Business goal of achieving 12% return on marketing investment through the first quarter marketing campaign).

improve performanceIdentification of Performance Issues

To get to the root of all performance issues, one must start with an objective analysis of either your personal or business situation.  Shake that notion that you haven’t been doing anything wrong or could not have been doing anything wrong.

 

You will need to take a serious look at any deficiencies around your professional life and in your organization.  Step two is digging deep and really identifying the issues that create barriers to achieve the next step or improved performance.

Example of personal and business challenges and barriers may include:

  • Financial limitations
  • Time constraints
  • Organization issues
  • Educational or professional limitations
  • Health and wellness, and work-life balance
  • Balancing family responsibilities
  • Location and connectedness
  • Access to resources

Whatever the issue or challenge is, ensure that you objectively list them out as you will be seeking genuine resolution to improve performance.

Pathways to Improve Performance

Once issues have been identified to improve performance, you will need to develop some options to resolve performance issues.  Breakdown larger issues and barriers into micro issues and establish a plan with milestone goals along the way.  Similar to business planning, your personal improvement plan will be your blueprint to improve performance.

If it seems like you have many issues and barriers, don’t be overwhelmed by the overall picture.  Feel assured you can improve performance by breaking the plan down into smaller performance goals and solutions.  The example of personal performance of increasing income by 10% may involve many complex issues.  Break it down into what can be achieved on a micro-step, daily basis.  As part of a detailed plan, you may need to take small steps daily, seeking alternative employment options on a daily basis, or seeking promotional opportunities at work.

Stay on track and be dedicated in meeting your end performance goals.  Stay positive and work hard at this to improve performance.  Performance will not improve if you do not put in the effort.  Your dedication and hard-work ethic will pay off and you will soon observe yourself hitting milestone performance goals.

Achieving Performance Goals

Through your dedication, performance goals will be achieved at milestone stages and at the end goal.  Throughout the whole process, ensure that you continuously review your initial purpose, your initial goals.  As mentioned, your plan to improve performance should be measurable and tied to a time duration.   Measure your actual improvements against your planned performance goals.  If necessary revise and be motivated to achieve the goal or next step.

Motivation, perseverance, dedication, hard-work … grab and use these from your personal toolbox and you will achieve improved performance.

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

The Massive World of Social Media…and its Growing [Infographic]

Strategy Plan One

March 20, 2012 

Social Media Prism

This social media prism courtesy of TheConversationPrism.com illustrates the depth and variety of social media platforms in a multitude of categories.  If you thought you were doing well immersing into a few social media platforms, you may want to revisit your strategy around social media.  There is always the possibility that another platform may work better, with targeted messaging to the right target audience.  Or maybe there is a different form of media that would achieve better results.

Whatever your business purpose is for social media, you will find this Infographic swirl – prism amazing and interesting  (Click on the graphic to take you to theconversationprism.com  for a higher level of detail).

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Business Life Cycle and the Current Economic Climate

Strategy Plan One

March 17, 2012 

Business Life CycleBusiness Life Cycle

In the normal context of the business life cycle, a business, product, service or idea will progress through development, growth, peak and decline phases.

This cycle normally repeats over and over again as businesses usually adapt and change with the environment, close to the peak or into the decline phases.  The resulting graph of a fairly healthy, adjusted business looks like waves increasing in height from left to right on the graph.

Current Business & Economic Climate

In addition to the phases of the normal business life cycle, other factors such as economic or global issues can alter the business life cycle.  In the current economic climate over the past couple of years, those business cycles have either peaked or declined earlier than projected.  In a recessionary period, many business cycles may be on the declining side, but as economies pull out a recession, cycles hit a low stabilization period and another growth period begins.  Many businesses in 2012 are coming off the declining phase, reaching a low and are starting on the growth incline again.  Some stock graphs sometimes mimic the business cycles of many corporations.

Business Life Cycle

Business Cycle – Development Phase

This phase is the stomping ground for new product and business development.  It is the research and development phase behind ventures, with heavy emphasis on planning, testing and piloting projects.  In a repeating cycle this is a period of stabilization (as indicated by the trough on the graph), as companies have adjusted from declining phases and have stabilized operations and finances from a potential loss period.

Business Cycle – Growth Phase

Business Life CycleFollowing the development or stabilization period, companies and businesses enter a growth period, where new revenues grow from new products & services, or improvements made in operations.  The growth, inclined phase indicated on the graph could be a result of efficiencies made in operations, to make businesses more competitive.

Business Cycle – Peak Phase

As products, services, ideas, and business reach maturity, they hit a peak phase where no further growth occurs.  Peak phase may indicate no further revenue can be generated from products, or that the business has reached its maximum market penetration, or that the business may have reached maximum consumer interest.  If you are keeping accurate, timely track of your finances and analyzing your trends, this would indicate that you may have to start making adjustments in business.

Business Cycle – Decline Phase

Many economists and business professionals have stated that the current global economic circumstances may have caused companies to enter the decline phase faster than projected.  In the normal business cycle, if adjustments to business are not made, companies, products and ideas usually enter a deep decline period.  The current economic climate may have accelerated that, but many statistics are indicating that the economies are turning around.

Business Cycles Repeat and Return to the Positive

As noted in the cycle, declining phases cause reactionary measures to once again achieve a period of stability.  Following stable periods comes growth phases and the business cycle repeats on and on.

Business Tips for the Business Cycle

  • Be aware of where your company, product, service or idea is within the business life cycle
  • Keep track of your finances and operations and watch for trends as these trends are your indicators.
  • Be pro-active rather than reactive; being pro-active to trends may help you recover easier and faster from declining phases
  • Be cognizant of the business and economic climates locally, nationally and on a global basis

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One