Category Archives: Articles

Everything You Need To Know About Instagram Stories And How They Work

The article below was written by our friends at 99firms.com.

If you are a new entrant and starting from scratch on Instagram, Stories can help you gain followers on the social media platform. This feature lets you share photos and videos effortlessly which disappear automatically after 24 hours.

If you do it right, you can easily boost your brand loyalty. The competition is significant, but the 300 million users that watch Stories daily can be a game-changer for any business.

How Does It Work?

  • Instagram Stories plays chronologically as you add content to it.
  • These Stories cannot be liked or commented on. All that users can do is see the content in the form of a slideshow.
  • You can make a Story interesting by adding emojis, text, stickers, and the like.
  • Instagram Stories provides analytics and you can easily track the number of views and other important details.
  • Your Stories can be viewed by anyone.

Its Ever-Rising Popularity

Instagram Stories gained a wide traction these days, all because:

  • They are easy to create. All you need to have is the right content and an eye for creativity.
  • They help you in engaging directly with your end users.
  • They disappear automatically after 24 hours.
  • They are a great way to launch products, collect feedback, conduct polls, and other activities.

With this in mind, let’s have a closer look at the infographic below related to Instagram Stories:

Click on the image to see the full infographic.

Five Steps to Turn Your Great Idea Into a Profitable Business

Image via Unsplash

Is entrepreneurship calling your name? Starting your own business is a rewarding way to earn a living, but it’s not as simple as hitting the market with a great idea. If you have a brilliant idea you want to turn into a profitable business, take these five steps before you launch.

Know Yourself

A business may be a good idea, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for you. Explore your interests to discover the type of business you’d like to run. Then, explore your strengths to decide how you’d like to run it.

For first-time entrepreneurs looking to save on overhead, gig economy businesses are a good choice because you don’t need a brick-and-mortar presence. For example, a dog walker can set their own prices and schedule and be selective about the animals they work with. That said, it still takes great organizational skills to operate an on-the-go business.

Complete Market Research

You have a great idea, but who is going to buy it? If your problem doesn’t meet an identifiable need, you’ll have a hard time finding paying customers. This is where market research comes in. Market research shows you what unmet need exists in your target market, how you can meet it, and how much people are willing to pay. For a step-by-step guide to completing your own market research, read the guide from Envato Tuts+.

Write a Business Plan

The business plan is where you synthesize everything you’ve learned about your business idea and market into an actionable plan. The business plan details:

  • What you’ll sell (description of products or services).
  • How you’ll produce it (funding, suppliers, manufacturing, and staffing).
  • How you’ll sell it (pricing, sales strategy, and marketing plan).

A business plan should also outline your mission, values, business structure, and financial projections, among other components. Basically, anything you need to know to run your business should go in the business plan.

Craft a Brand

This is the fun stuff — picking a name, designing a logo, and choosing a color scheme for your brand. However, it’s serious business too. Your brand has a huge influence on how customers perceive your business. Your brand’s image and voice should be consistent across all platforms, including website copy, social media messaging, images, and in-person communication. Learn more about developing your brand at HubSpot.

Register Your Business

Before you launch your business, there are a few legal steps to attend to:

  • Choose a business structure and register your business with the state.
  • Apply for sales tax permits.
  • Apply for a federal tax ID number.
  • Apply for licenses and permits if your industry requires them.
  • Apply for a zoning variance for home-based businesses.

In addition to these legally required steps, knock these administrative tasks off your list before starting up:

  • Purchase a domain name and create a website.
  • Create social media profiles and content calendars.
  • Establish record-keeping systems.
  • Order business cards.

Once you’ve finished all these steps, you’re ready to launch your business! As you operate your first small business, remember to stay disciplined so you don’t fall behind and take time for self-care so you don’t burn out. There’s a lot to do when running a business, but with focus and dedication, you can get the job done.

Fascinating Facts About In-Store vs Online Shopping [Infographic]

The article below was written by our friends at redbrain.com.

For some people, shopping is a pastime and for others it’s a hard work. But, whether you love it or hate it, you have to shop at one point or another. Over the past few years, ecommerce has made the task of shopping easier.

It has grown to such unbelievable heights that these days shoppers prefer entering card details from the comfort of their homes over taking a 10-minute walk to the nearest store.

What makes online shopping even more appealing is the fact that you can have your goods delivered to your doorstep. Many people prefer this option as it saves them the trouble of having to carry the goods home themselves after spending hours in line at the store. Recently it’s really gotten out of proportion, with redbrain.com reporting that some people spend as little as 28 seconds on some shopping websites, without having to wait their turn or turn their car on to make a purchase.

Despite the ease of online shopping, other people love seeing and feeling the texture of the products they want to purchase in physical stores. In fact, 56% of in-store shoppers state that they prefer this type of shopping because they can see and touch the products.

55% of consumers shop in-stores because of the ‘try before you purchase’ possibility some stores offer, and 41% are worried they won’t get what they want if they place an online order for it.

On the other hand, 58% of online shoppers love it because they can shop for as long as they like. The 54% of them prefer it because they can compare product prices on various e-platforms and 29% love that they get free shipping for their purchase.

Seeing how well the e-commerce industry is growing, retailers quickly acted and now 58% of them have apps for mobile devices that allow shoppers to make purchases. The 83% of retailers worldwide also have mobile-enhanced websites that enable shoppers to place orders and enter their card details.

With the infographic below, you will have detailed information about in-store and online shopping. You will also be able to compare the growth rate between both types of sales while taking a closer look at what people buy most.

You can even compare what reasons people take into consideration before choosing to shop in-store and what causes other people to shop online.

In-store vs online shopping infographic.

Click here to see the full infographic.

 

Quote-to-Cash (QTC) Basic Process

Think about your approach to your customers: Nothing you do operates in a vacuum. For example, the order fulfilling process isn’t just the salesperson’s responsibility. It starts with marketing, when a customer receives communication that leads them to set expectations about what their experience with your company will be like. It extends to the salesperson, of course, when they outline the policies and procedures. And it goes beyond to the person who actually fulfills the order to the customer service team that responds, post-order, and helps out with any questions or concerns.

That’s a holistic approach to an order, and the same holistic approach should be part of the quote process, too. When it is, that’s called the quote-to-cash process. It views the customer and their interactions and the pricing they receive as interdependent and tied together. Ready to learn more about this? This graphic helps to explain it.

Click To Enlarge


The Basics of the Quote-to-Cash Process

Via Salesforce

Quick Facts About Online vs Offline Shopping

This article below was written by our friends at love.shopping.fm.

Everybody loves online shopping and its popularity has surged over the last decade. The ability to shop from the comfort of your own home and browse product reviews before committing to a purchase are two of the main reasons people love it so much and opt to shop online as opposed to visiting traditional retails.

Whether you prefer online or offline shopping, we cannot ignore how popular it now is. All you need to do is look at Amazon during Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get an idea of just how much people rely on it.

It’s not rocket science, though. By shopping online, you have the convenience of having millions of products by thousands of brands in one place: the internet. You do not need to go from store-to-store to find a specific product or look for <a href=”https://love.shopping.fm/“>the best deals</a>.

Some of the facts are impressive though, here are some of our favorite ones –

  • Offline shopping grew by $3 billion in 2016, whereas online shopping grew by an eye-watering $376 billion.
  • 51% of Americans and 67% of American millennials prefer online shopping over going in-store.
  • The average consumer in Western Europe and North America makes 19 purchases per year online. Sure, that may not look like much, but what sort of things do you buy in-store? Probably groceries, mostly, whereas you’re far more likely to make large purchases online.
  • 59% of people also saw a product they purchased online before they decided to buy it, compared to 52% in offline channels.

Want to learn more about the way online shopping is now dominating offline shopping? Check out our infographic below!