e-commerce Archives - Elemerce

Trademarks: Registering and Why They Matter

The Nike Swoosh is a definable marking that instantly lets you recognize the brand Nike. The glowing Apple on the back of a MacBook instantly confirms it’s an Apple product. The golden arches and the phrase “I’m lovin’ it” are recognizably McDonalds. These are all examples of a trademarked properties that protects the company’s ownership of their brand creatives. 

Trademarks can often be considered the most valuable piece of intellectual property a business owns, according to Business Law Centre. A trademark is what identifies your goods or services from others. 

A trademark can be a symbol such as an Apple logo, or it can be a slogan like Subway’s “Eat Fresh.” It can also be a word, design, or any combination of these elements, as long as the mark identifies and distinguishes one set of goods or services from another

The main reason to get a trademark is to protect your business, brand, and idea. If someone were to copy you, your trademark registration would hold up in a court of law. 

There are various ways you can about registering a trademark, but the option that provides the most protection is to register it federal with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Through their online service, you can provide all the information required, including your branding assets, websites, and goods or services description. 

You have the option to hire an attorney, or you can do it yourself, if you are a US citizen registering in the US, and your attorney must be a registered in the US. The USPTO has a lot of great information for you, including a basic facts video we recommend. 

At the end of registering, you will have to pay a fee that starts at around $350 depending on how many goods, services, or items you plan to have your trademark cover. 

It is also to be noted that you will find cheaper options that are not federally registered. These cheaper options may seem better for yourr budget, however if you want to ensure your trademark registration is legit, it is best to go with the federal option. 

If you have a business with a recognizable logo and name, it is best practice to get it trademarked. In fact, before even naming a business, it is always smart to check the Trademark Database to see if it is available. 

If you ever plan to sell items on Amazon as your own brand, it is required that you have a trademark first. Amazon requires this for their brand registry application. 

Overall, registering your trademark is an exciting step for your business. It is the first step to Amazon selling, and making your brand legitimate in a court of law.

If you need help with your business and branding, contact Elemerce to grow your online business today. 

Best E-Commerce Platforms For 2021

E-Commerce is selling things over the internet. This has been a growing trend over the last few decades, and it is predicted that by 2040, 95% of sales will be through e-commerce. This means if you are considering selling your products online or starting an online retail front, now is the time! 

To get started selling online, you will most likely decide to use an established e-commerce platform to list your products, host your website, and handle transactions. Deciding what platform to use can be overwhelming because there are so many options. 

The top 3 platforms for e-commerce are WooCommerce (23%), Shopify (21%), and Wix (15%). Here is our comparison of these 3 most common platforms and why they are ranked the best. 

WooCommerce

WooCommerce integrates with an existing WordPress site seamlessly, which makes it the most popular choice for any business that already has a website through WordPress. There are over 75 million websites built with WordPress, so this is why WooCommerce has such a high percentage of users. WooCommerce is great for complex stores and companies that have a development team to customize their coding to make it personalized. They offer a plethora of resources, development tools, and support. Their pricing varies on if you need hosting, themes, etc. so check out their breakdown of costs to determine if this platform will fit your needs. Overall, if you already have a WordPress site, then WooCommerce will probably be the easiest way to get selling quick! 

Shopify

Shopify is a great platform for a novice user to even a developer. It has an easy to use back end with a wide selection of apps to easily integrate. It gives you great stats reporting on your store and it starts at only $29 a month for the basic plan. It is great for businesses of all sizes and can be integrated with your web service to have a “store” page on whatever platform you already use. If you don’t have a website yet, it is easy to create one with one of their free or paid themes. They offer support to get your store started and have options for a Shopify developer to create customized pages too. A lot of our clients at Elemerce use Shopify and we definitely think it is a great platform to get started. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us today to discuss more. 

Wix

Wix is a great platform to build a flawless looking website with simple drag and drop features. Their back end is so seamless that any beginner can use, and if you get stuck they have Wix members ready to assist you. Wix offers an excellent app market to integrate and make your website top notch. Their pricing is affordable but varies depending on the features your site offers, such as credit card transactions and online bookings. Overall if you want to be able to design your website on your own without any coding knowledge, then Wix is the top choice for you. 

This is just an overview of the top 3 e-commerce platforms used, but there are really so many excellent options out there, so it is recommended that you do your research before deciding. Some other notable options to consider are BigCommerce, Magneto, and SalesForce Commerce Cloud

As you do your research, consider your coding abilities, what you are selling, and any apps you want to integrate. Elemerce is here to help you sell more, so contact us today to discuss how we can help your online business.

How To Use The Swipe Up Advertising On Instagram

When Instagram made the update giving us the story feature, we were able to post more frequently with short clips and phone-sized posts that go away after 24 hours, which revolutionized the way we create content and interact with followers. These quick clips can allow for a better glimpse into our daily lives without having to live on our page forever. 

For business, stories have become a great tool to promote sales and show products and services in action without being worried about a well-produced video fitting your page aesthetic. Stories have also become a great way to utilize tagged locations, trending hashtags, and finally even repost tagged content from customers. 

And finally – one of the biggest perks that came with the new story feature is the ability to share links on Instagram! Prior to the story update, the only clickable link is the one allowed in your bio, prompting the call to action “Link In Bio” to become the only way to get your customers to your website. 

With the unveiling of IG stories, accounts with 10,000 followers or more are able to add a link that users can swipe up to go to a website outside of Instagram (but still on the Instagram app of course). 

You can finally link customers to your sales channels and promotions, and products – but only if your account has 10,000 followers or more. 

But what if you don’t have 10k followers? 

This new exclusive feature that favors “influencers” led to the offering of swipe up promotions in influencer marketing options. Basically, you find an account that does have 10k followers and you make an agreement for them to share your post, often in exchange for money or products. 

Another option is to make an Instagram story ad. To make an ad that will populate in your audience’s stories, you use the Facebook Ad Center to create the content and choose your audience. 

When you go to the Ad Center, you will Create A New Ad. Next you choose your goal for your ad – options include get more website visitors, get more leads, promote your page, etc. 

Next you will choose your ad placements. This is where you will remove any placements such as Messenger Ads, and make sure Instagram Stories Ads – and now even Facebook stories – is selected. 

In this ad editor, you will create your content, choose where your ad links to, and choose your audience. Once you have finished creating your ad and choosing your placements, you click Promote Now, and Facebook will review your ads and check it against their community standards. 

Some of the biggest benefits of using the stories feature is you can post frequently without bombarding your followers, and you can interact on a more personal level with your followers. 

If you have never used the stories feature before, you will probably be surprised how many views these quick clips can get. You can highlight your best stories for long-term placement on your page too. Be warned – these quick story clips can be quite addicting and very entertaining, and next thing you know, you’ve watched hundreds!

Looking for help with your social media content and advertising strategies? Check out our services at Elemerce

 

Best Dropshipping Apps For Shopify

Shopify has become the popular website of choice for e-commerce solutions. With it’s easy to use functionality and capability to integrate so many great apps, it’s arguably the best option for anyone wanting to start an online store. What if you don’t have a product? That’s okay because there are numerous dropshipping apps offering print on demand services and products that can be instantly shipped to a purchaser. 

Here are a few of the best dropshipping apps for Shopify: 

Oberlo – Oberlo is a third-party dropshipping app that is easy to install and choose products to begin selling right away. With a wide variety of products to choose from, you can curate your own store, then customers purchase the items you have listed, and a third-party will ship directly to your customer. Now you don’t have to deal with the hassle of sourcing and shipping products yourself. Some popular items on Oberlo are sunglasses, watches, fashion jewelry, and apparel. 

Printify – Printity is a great resource if you have the design for a shirt, but don’t want to have to physically print them or order in bulk. Printity will print on demand whatever products your customer orders, and then ship directly to them. Now you can focus on designing new ideas, and save the manual printing for someone else! Printify also offers hoodies, mugs, long sleeve shirts, leggings, and other items you can design on. It has easy to use functionality to create and customize a mock that integrates seamlessly with your Shopify store. 

Dripshipper – Have you always wanted to start your own coffee brand? Now you can with Dripshipper. Choose your beans, design your label, and guarantee freshness with every order. 

Creative Hub – Creative Hub is a great resource for artists looking to produce their designs in various ways to share with the world. Artists can upload their designs to make custom prints or various sizes, wall hangings and more. It also comes with a certificate of authenticity so your customers know that they got original work from you. 

Lulu xPress – Lulu xPress is a great app for writers and authors who want to publish their own books without having to go through a publisher. Now you can share your stories, poetry, and artwork with the world in custom books, calendars, coloring books and more. 

These are only a few of the hundreds of apps that integrate with Shopify. Starting your online brand and expanding your digital storefront is easy with dropshipping options in every category. 

Need help launching your online brands? See what Elemerce can do for you. 

 

3 Tips for E-Commerce Product Photography

Selling products online is no small feat. From choosing the right e-commerce distribution channels to creating strong branding and marketing strategies, there is a lot that goes into successfully selling online. One of the most important aspects, however, is high-quality product photography. 

Product images are the first thing consumers see when they shop online. Having high-quality images adds value to your e-commerce, engaging customers from the get-go and increasing their chances of making a purchase. Before customers read a description on a page, their focus is always drawn to visuals first. 

Professional photography can make your product impossible to ignore and in the long run, increase your brand’s equity. Below are five tips to elevate your e-commerce photography and boost sales.

Highlight the Benefits

Use photography to your advantage by highlighting unique aspects of your product. From new features to different styles and colors, show your customers what makes your product special. Encourage your photographer to experiment with different lighting and backgrounds to get the best shot possible.

Keep it Simple

While a good photographer will make it hard to narrow down which images you want to feature on your site, it is important to cut your selection down to a certain number of photos. Avoid cluttering your site with too many images and instead choose a constant amount for each product. We recommend featuring only three to four images per product. 

Share Video Content

Looking for an even better way to share your product with customers? Video content is the answer. By showing your product in real-time use, videos do an excellent job of highlighting features and benefits to customers. When shooting video content, be sure your background is simple and won’t distract from your product. 

How Businesses Are Rebranding due to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic shifted society on a global scale. Business owners, in particular, experienced challenging times in which they had to make swift changes, adapt to meet new health regulations, and find new ways to attract customers. 

In the time of COVID-19, every business regardless of industry is making changes to face challenging times head-on. From updating designs and services to finding ways to give back to those in need, rebranding allows companies to evolve, attract new consumers, and gain longevity. 

Despite popular belief, rebranding doesn’t always have to mean starting from scratch. There are many ways to incorporate small changes that can add up and strengthen your company in the long run.

For example, one way companies can rebrand is by strengthening their customer base and building an online community. In the era of social distancing, building a virtual community has never been more important. Taking time to engage with customers online and developing customer loyalty programs are two simple ways to rebrand your organization.

Focusing on community needs and social movements is another way many companies are evolving during this time. Whether that means donating a portion of profits to a good cause or educating customers on social issues, giving back can go a long way.

COVID-19 has led many businesses to rethink their products and services. Instead of viewing this as a challenge, take it as an opportunity to rebrand your company and think about which products and services you should keep and which, if any, you can do without. Be creative, explore new markets, and think about how your business can stay in-demand. 

4 Strategies to Prepare for Amazon Q4 Success

Amazon’s fourth-quarter spans the months of October through December and is known as a crucial time for Amazon sellers to increase traffic and drive sales. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season, Q4 is a great opportunity for sellers to boost their annual sales and take advantage of the peak in demand. 

Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran when it comes to Amazon sales, it’s always a good idea to prepare ahead of time and incorporate new strategies that can guarantee Q4 success. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as we approach Amazon’s fourth quarter. 

  • Organize your inventory

When it comes to maximizing your Q4 revenue, it’s best to take a ‘Goldilocks’ approach with your inventory. Running out of stock during this quarter prevents you from reaping 100% of rewards. On the other hand, too much stock often leads sellers no choice but to lower prices to the point of profit-loss. To avoid these scenarios, plan your Q4 inventory to ensure items are available to ship into Amazon by October. Planning in advance also prevents late arrivals of inventory, which can lead to revenue losses. Tools like RestockPro can help you make smart inventory decisions for your company.

  • Plan for longer lead times

Q4 is Amazon’s busiest time of the year. Be sure to plan for longer lead times at Fulfilment Centers, which are often at maximum capacity. In many cases, it can take Amazon twice as long to process issues and receive shipments. As you prepare your business for Q4 success, keep in mind time delays that may occur and plan accordingly. 

  • Find pricing that works

Come January, when the fourth-quarter ends, sales inevitably decline and sellers with overpriced inventory are left with overstocks and missed revenue opportunities. To avoid sitting on an excess of inventory post-Q4, develop a pricing strategy that works for your brand and your consumers. If enough inventory hasn’t been sold halfway through the quarter, have a lower price in mind that you can adopt before Q4 ends. It is always better to have a reduced margin at the end of the quarter than an abundance of sitting inventory come January. 

  • Optimize your listings

Q4 is the time to pull out all the stops when it comes to optimizing your listings. Take the months before the fourth-quarter to learn which optimization strategies work for you and familiarize yourself with Amazon’s style guide for your category. By doing your research, writing clear titles, and incorporating keywords, your products can be met with high engagement rates and plenty of sales.

How eCommerce Businesses Can Thrive During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Everyone’s home, which means more shopping online than ever before. Whether people are trying to find a new source for their essential items–be it clothing or children’s toys–or looking for games and entertainment during their newfound free time, eCommerce businesses that position themselves correctly stand to gain big.

Here’s some advice to help your business shift focus and thrive during these hard times.

Offer a Promotion

If you’ve been thinking about a promotion, now might be the right time to go forward with it. With more eyes on online businesses than ever before, it’s likely going to get plenty of attention. Plus, a good deal can help promote sales even as budgets tighten.

If you have a lot of stock on a specific item you’re looking to move or an idea for a product that may be particularly well-received right now (think cooking gadgets and family games), why not give it a go? 

Boost Your Amazon Presence

Amazon has seen an incredible uptick in sales in recent months as non-essential businesses have been forced to close their doors and more people have chosen to stay inside and have their items delivered. Many items and categories are out-of-stock entirely, and the sales prices for some goods–even items as simple as jigsaw puzzles–have highered to match demand.

If you have relevant items to sell, Amazon is definitely a place you want to be. Building your Amazon presence and perhaps putting a bit of money into sponsored listings would be a smart move right now, thanks to the unprecedented traffic Amazon is seeing at this time.

Change Your Marketing

Your marketing plan needs to quickly adapt to be both thoughtful and relevant during the pandemic. Everyone’s at home, which means focus and priorities are shifting. 

When thinking about your marketing, consider that people have a lot of free time but also a lot more restrictions than they used to. Things they used to go out and do, like go to the movies or workout at the gym, must now be done at home. The extra spare time is also leading to boredom, anxiety, and other issues. 

For instance, if you sell an exercise device, try an angle like, “Get your workout in at home and kill boredom at the same time.” 

Spend on Marketing

Unfortunately, many companies are going out of business as this pandemic leads to major unforeseen disruption. Certain industries are being hit far worse than others, but as an eCommerce business, you have the agility to change your approach on the fly and shift to meet new consumer demands.

With less competition in traditional areas, you can rise to the top by marketing the right products to the right people. In other words, if you aren’t already investing in digital marketing, call someone in to help. Also, if you are investing, consider upping your spending. Analyze the potential ROI for today’s most in-demand products and you can end up growing big time through this crisis as you service society’s new needs.