Shopping online has become a lot more popular than it was a decade ago. Consumers have the convenience of ordering items online instead of wasting time, gas, and money travelling to the nearest mall to buy stuff. However, convenience does pose some serious risks for shoppers. Like any other transaction over the internet, e-commerce security isn’t foolproof. This means consumers could be at risk of compromising their sensitive financial data. Below are five reminders folks should keep in mind to stay safe.
When making a purchase, you should take a look at the vendor’s site URL to ensure the security of any transaction. At the beginning of the URL, it should read “https” rather than “HTTP.” The former is an indication that the page is encrypted, which is a good thing. Moreover, it is important to check for “https” at the beginning of each page’s URL throughout the entire process. The same precautionary method also applies to shoppers using their mobile devices to make purchases.
Supply Essential Information Only
Online shoppers don’t have to supply an excessive amount of information to buy stuff from e-commerce stores. When filling in any purchase form, only fill in the fields that the vendor requires. This significantly will reduce your risk of supplying sensitive information that hackers can use to steal money or harm you in other ways. However, if the site requires customers to supply information, such as your social security personal info, then it would be wise to buy from another site that doesn’t. Practising these precautions alone significantly can reduce the danger of compromising any confidential data.
Research Site Validity
Legitimate sites usually will have About us and Contact us pages containing legitimate info regarding the company. The latter page, in particular, should have valid contact information (preferably a working phone number). The website should have a strong social media presence as well. Reputable eCommerce stores are active across major social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Moreover, the site should have a decent amount of followers. If so, that’s a good sign that the site is legitimate.
Check Consumer Reviews for Complaints
Consumer reviews are a great way to determine the legitimacy of any e-commerce site. A quick Google search is all it takes to pull in both good and bad info regarding a particular online store. Be sure that the reviews are made by actual users on reputable sites dedicated to providing these kinds of informative reviews.
Another thing to look out for is whether or not the virtual store is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Nonetheless, if multiple BBB warnings are posted about the organisation, then it’s best to make purchases through another website.
Use Credit Cards
Using a credit card for processing online transactions is far safer than using a debit card. The former mode of payment usually comes with online fraud protection that negates the risks of losing sensitive banking data. Additionally, payments are made from the banking institution as a loan, instead of it coming straight from the shopper’s bank account. On top of all this, excess charges and errors are easily identifiable on credit card statements, so consumers can contact their banks immediately and have these mishaps reversed.
Shopping online is hugely convenient. That’s why it has become so popular. However, while e-commerce security is being continuously improved, hackers diligently find new weak points to penetrate and use to steal from consumers. Instead of relying on banking institutions to fix the problems once they’ve occurred, it’s best to take precautions to avoid these risks. That said, the five tips listed above are amongst the most effective methods of reducing the dangers associated with online shopping.
9 Supercharged and Proven Ways to Rocket Your Affiliate Sales
Affiliate marketing is the promotion of someone else’s product or service in return for compensation, usually a percentage of the sales. Affiliate sales bring many people six-figure incomes while others earn nil. There are strategic differences in their approach. Many new bloggers are immediately seduced by the promise of big profits through affiliate sales and do not do the necessary research to make it successful. Just as with SEO and every other money-making strategy on the internet, study and effort trump enthusiasm every time. Whether you are just getting started with affiliate sales or you have been in the game and struggling for a bit, there are some fundamental basics that you can apply to be successful. Everyone and their grandmother will likely give you the opportunity to become an affiliate but not so many will help you do it effectively. Since success breeds profit, you’ll enjoy these powerful tips to help you increase your affiliate sales.
People buy from people they trust, its that easy. You can’t just plaster whatever material all over your pages to have a place to put your affiliate links. It is inherently important that you publish valuable content that your audience finds useful in their everyday lives. Establishing your site as an authority in your niche goes a long way toward building trust with an audience. Soften some of those pain points by solving a problem or being humorous. However you do it, your content must be valuable, or your site won’t get any ratings, anyway. Publish consistently relevant, useful content, and you will build trust with your audience. Build trust and your affiliate sales will skyrocket.
Choose Relevant Products
This tip seems obvious, but it seems that many bloggers fail to see it. You must choose to promote products that are relevant to your niche and your site. If you run a website selling fishing supplies to men, then there is no sense in advertising cosmetics. The ads will only take up space on your site and confuse your audience. Besides, a confused audience cannot fully trust your material which goes back to the first point. The best way to be successful with affiliate sales is to promote products that matter to your audience. If you aren’t sure, then do some research and ensure that you have data to back up your choice. Otherwise, you’re just wasting valuable real-estate on your site that could be earning you revenue.
Put Your Website Performance in Overdrive
People are busy and sometimes just totally impatient. Nothing turns a visitor off faster than just waiting, and waiting, and watching that little blue circle in the middle of a white page. Make sure that you are using a high-quality content management system where your pages load fast. You’ll also want to ensure that they display well across all screen types. Mobile-friendly business is not just growing; it has pretty much taken over. That should be obvious with the move to mobile-first indexing. You want your pages to load fast across all screen types, and they must be mobile friendly. Check your graphics, the size of images and anything else that can influence page speed. Make improvements where necessary.
Utilise the Power of Product Reviews
Products with positive reviews consistently sell as much as thirty times those without reviews. That is one good reason to utilise the power of reviews, but you also want to protect your credibility. You don’t want to promote a product of inferior quality because it can damage your reputation in the industry. Even if a product is initially performing well, you want to monitor reviews. All companies go through changes, so it is a good idea to check product reviews periodically to see what the audience is saying. Besides, if the audience isn’t happy with a product and it is consistently getting poor reviews, it won’t sell. It can also send your reputation down the tubes which can cripple your ability to promote anything at all.
Protect Your Audience and Yourself
Use a Subscribe Box to Build Out a Recurring Client List
You may be surprised at how many people overlook this strategy. You can successfully build and utilise an email marketing list with affiliate sales. Email marketing continues to be one of the most potent mediums providing a very high return on investment, so you should include a subscribe box on every page. There is nothing wrong with utilising a call-to-action and asking audience members to complete it if you don’t go overboard. Many just getting started in affiliate sales never think to integrate email marketing for massive sales, but it is a compelling strategy that can put you in the winner’s circle.
Don’t Make it Look Like Affiliate Marketing is All You Do
Affiliate marketing should be secondary to providing valuable, relevant content. The second that it isn’t is when your site starts going downhill. Yes, affiliate marketing can bring in some eyebrow-raising profits if appropriately approached. As soon as it becomes the primary goal of your website, it will become unsuccessful. People come to your site to find information so don’t utilise a hard sell. It’s just a turn-off that undermines your authority in the industry or your specific niche. Besides that, it just isn’t useful. There are numerous algorithms built around ensuring search results only include high-quality content. Your website won’t be able to compete if you don’t base it on providing relevant, quality content to the audience.
Optimise Your Site
It’s no secret that affiliate sales require traffic. Even if your site has targeted traffic, a robust optimisation strategy can increase it. Strategic, well-balanced SEO efforts will improve your rankings and therefore increase traffic on your site. Do your keyword research, engage with your audience and make sure you are using a host that can provide a quick page load. You want your pages to load fast across all screen types and include one call-to-action. If you are exercising good taste and SEO business practices, then you will also increase your affiliate sales.
Analyse, Analyse, Analyse
Analysing the metrics should be something you’re used to if you have a website. It is no less critical when it comes to affiliate marketing. The metrics can show you which ads work and which ones don’t, in addition to which products your audience values most. There are many tools which can make this task a little easier. Analysing data should be a regular part of your routine if you expect to be successful. Look at the metrics and don’t second guess the data.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative ways to make money online. However, all too often, marketers get caught up in the idea of instant, overnight success. If anything is proven, there rarely is an overnight millionaire. However, with these supercharged and proven ways to boost your affiliate sales, you can surely replace your daily 9-to-5 job within a year. One year to completely change your life is nothing to scoff at. So, make sure you read through all of these methods and make sure that you don’t leave a single one out.
Top 8 Social Media Tactics to Drive Traffic to Your Ecommerce Site
Social media plays a vital role in running an e-commerce business. In most cases, consumers turn to social media so that they can get information before buying a product. Thus, you need to build trust with your prospects and customers through social media. Establish marketing strategies in such a way that you can lure your customers effectively. Follow this guide to build a trusted brand online. Before you set up the strategies, you need to keep the following in mind.
1. Set Goals. Before deciding on the marketing strategies to use, you need to set goals for what you are planning to achieve.
Your set goals should consider the:
- Amount of traffic
- Number of followers
- Conversion rate
- Audience growth rate
2. Understand your Customers. Before you start posting, you need to have a clear picture of what your customers need.
3. Track your progress. As your social media strategy goes on, plan on how you will track your progress. Create reports and revise your plans when necessary.
4. Analyze Data.
The behavior of your website will tell you the type of information that your customers want. Rely on this data to engage with your prospects and customers.
Here are the strategies.
1. Optimize your social media posts. You can do this by using high-converting keywords to boost the chances of increasing your online visibility.
2. Share Valuable Content. As an entrepreneur, you need to provide useful and shareable content. You need to socialize with your followers through your posts. Post educative and entertaining posts to attract your audience’s attention.
3. Add Social Sharing Buttons. Provide sharing buttons to all your product pages. The sharing buttons will allow your customers to share your products easily.
4. Use Visual Content. Visual content tends to be more engaging compared to text-based posts. This makes visual content a perfect fit to market your business on social media platforms.
5. Be Interactive. Social media sites are the best platforms for interacting with your prospects and customers directly. Make sure that you monitor your daily posts closely. Ask questions, reply to comments, and take part in discussions.
You can also promote your engagements by:
- Joining groups.
- Connecting with influencers.
- Having live chats.
6. Post Consistently. Posting regularly improves customer engagements and drives more traffic to your website. Sharing content consistently shows that you are knowledgeable about what you are doing and that you also have passion about it.
7. Use Hashtags. Hashtags organize content and expand your target audience. They also promote interaction on social media platforms. When you use hashtags, your content will be easily visible.
8. Use Paid Advertising. You can use Facebook ads and promoted tweets to promote your business online.
When the above strategies are put into place, the chances of your business growing are high. All you need to do is monitor and take account of the changes taking place in your business.
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