ecommerce trends

2018’s Ecommerce Trends

In 2017, retail ecommerce sales in Canada climbed an astonishing 30%, driven by events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. This list of 2018's ecommerce trends will help you take your ecommerce game to new heights.
Black Friday Cyber Monday
Black Friday

Is Your Business Ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday come around just once a year. Make sure your business is ready by following these tips.
Black Friday
Black Friday

Lessons Learned from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017

Once viewed as merely the start of the bustling Holiday period, Black Friday has grown to become a retail behemoth, prompting dedicated shoppers to camp out in pursuit of door crasher deals. If your business has yet to realise the opportunities available on this weekend, now is the time to start getting ready for the upcoming year.
content marketing trends
augmented reality

Predicting the Upcoming Content Marketing Trends

Interested in finding out the future of content marketing? We've dusted off our crystal balls to make some educated guesses.
How To Create Content That Will Separate You From The Pack
content

How To Create Content That Will Separate You From The Pack

In his famous Ted Talk, bestselling author Simon Sinek explains his belief that successful brands all have one thing in common – they understand what their “why” is. This knowledge enables these brands to effortlessly communicate with and sell to their target market. Take Apple for example. Their advertisements don’t just tell you what their product is. Instead, they carefully explain why it is you need this item in your life. So successful have they been at evangelizing their own products that it’s even spawned the term (and book on the subject)  “The Cult of Mac.” Explaining to your audience what the “why” is behind your products is key to creating content that will separate you from the pack. Finding Your Why? No matter what industry your business is in, it operates on three simple levels: What you do – the products you sell, services you offer or jobs you do. How you do it – the things that differentiate you from the competition. Why you do it – the reason you get out of bed in the morning and why anyone should care. Above, you’ll see a diagram known as “The Golden Circle.” It places why deliberately at the centre. Your why has nothing directly to do with what you do, or how you do it. Instead, it has a ripple effect that informs the way you go about your business as a whole. Think of your why as the purpose of your business. It’s what inspires you to do what you do every day, but it also inspires others to take action and buy your products. One of the easiest ways to drill down and find the “why” behind your brand is to create a “Why Statement.” This concise statement, usually one line in length, will communicate to others succinctly what your why is. Constructing a Why Statement Simply put, a why statement is a sentence that clearly expresses your unique contribution and impact. It’s your brand’s philosophical elevator pitch. Your why statement should be: Simple and clear Actionable Focused on the difference you’ll make, and Delivered in affirmative language that resonates with you Your why statement shouldn’t need any qualifiers. It should be applicable to everything you do, personally and professionally – without any separation. We’ll lean on our friend Simon Sinek once more to deliver his thoughts on what constitutes a why statement: “It’s a statement of your value at work as much as it is the reason your friends love you. We don’t have a professional WHY and personal WHY. We are who we are wherever we are. Your contribution is not a product or a service. It’s the thing around which everything you do— the decisions you make, the tasks you perform, the products you sell— aligns to bring about the impact you envision.” How to Incorporate “Why” Into Your Content Making your why central to your business is just the start. It should also form the core of your content marketing efforts. Whether it’s a blog, an email or even a social media post, your why should be at the heart of your thinking. Take this blog for example. There are two distinct ways we could tempt you to click on it. Example 1: Take a look at our new blog “How to Write Content That Separates You From The Pack.” We dig into the how, what and most importantly the WHY of writing memorable content. Example 2: For marketers, content has never played a more important role in advertising. As more and more businesses sharpen up their content strategy, don’t get left behind as we explain how your “WHY” is key to writing content that separates you from the pack. In example two, I’ve attempted to dig into why we’re going to the effort to write this blog. The all-important why is that content has never played a bigger role in marketing, yet many businesses are getting left behind by not paying attention to its importance. Which example would prompt you to click on the blog? Taking the time to effectively communicate the value of your content (the WHY), sparks interest among potential customers and encourages them to read on. Once you’ve achieved this, you can seal the deal with the “how” and the “what”. Need help devising a content strategy for your brand? Reach out, we'll be delighted to help! Thank you to our GD Commerce Partners: Create Your Business Website Using Shopify Harness the Power of Drip CRM Software Set up Subscription Boxes, Recurring Orders and Payments Easily Using Bold Partners Boost Your Business Bookkeeping with Bench Learn How to Master Website SEO Using Mangools
Content Marketing Mistakes
content

Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Content marketing is a relatively new phenomenon, so we’re all learning together. That being said, there are still some basic rules to follow to ensure you aren’t pushing potential customers away.
Content Marketing
content

The Importance of Content in an Integrated Marketing Strategy

Ever since the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) biz got off the ground, content has rapidly grown in importance to become the single most important aspect of any marketing strategy.
How to boost your Instagram following

How to boost your Instagram following

Professional quality photos that are aesthetically pleasing are going to draw attention to your captions, captions are what provide your audience with value. You can't have one without the other.
Risky Business Part 2

Risky Business Part 2

This is a continuation on Christina's Risky Business series. Ready Risky Business Part 1! Last time, we talked about what chargebacks are and some general tips for avoiding them. This week, we’ll go a little more in-depth.   First things first, if your e-commerce platform offers it, you’ll want to pay attention to the fraud analysis that comes up with each order. It will show you some flags that the order may have set up. Even if your platform doesn’t offer a fraud analysis, you’ll want to review your orders for things that stand out. For example, if the customer says their billing and shipping addresses are in New York City but the order was placed from an IP address in California, that could be a cause for concern.  Yes, it’s true that customers may travel or have valid reasons for having set off any red flags, however, you’ll want to err on the side of caution when there’s things that just don’t make sense about an order. It’s better to play it safe and avoid a chargeback, because if a chargeback does occur, the order will be reversed and you’ll be charged a fee. Not to mention, as discussed last time, too many chargebacks can cause your payment gateway to deem you too high a risk to support and you’ll be left needing to find a new gateway. This could potentially leave you unable to process orders for a few days.  So, getting right back to it. You’ll want to review your orders to see if anything odd is going on. If you do see flags, reach out to the customer for some information. While you could call or email the customer to confirm their order, this isn’t the best tactic because they could have given you their own email address or phone number even if they used a card they don’t really own.  Asking the customer for a copy of their credit card, as well as a photo issued government ID, you can provide this as proof to the credit card company that  A) you looked into to the order to confirm it’s legitimacy, and B) the person who placed the order truly owns the card. When asking for a credit card image, you should ask them to hide all digits except the last 4. They could cover them up with a  finger or piece of paper, but for their protection (and your own), you should have them hide the first digits. You’ll want the image to include the whole card though, because you’ll want to check it for signs of fraud. You’ll want to see if any fonts look different (fraudsters will often scratch out information and replace it with their own, but this is usually visible), you’ll want to make sure the logos look real, etc. The process would be the same for the ID card as well. If the credit card or ID are from areas or companies where you do not know exactly what they should look like, remember, Google is your friend! Just type in “[state/province name] driver’s license” into Google and filter for image results.  You’ll want to make sure that if you feel an order is too high a risk to support, you cancel and refund it. Ideally, this should be done within 24-48 hours of the order being placed. This is to prevent a chargeback from happening in the first place. If a customer has already issued a chargeback, they won’t be as likely to comply with your requests for information. Here is a guide from Shopify about their built-in fraud analysis: https://help.shopify.com/manual/orders/fraud-analysis  It will give some examples of things that could cause flags. If you’re using another platform, they likely have a guide for their own product, just check out Google! Another thing to look out for is when the customer actually owns the credit card but files a chargeback claiming they didn’t receive the product or that it wasn’t as described, even though they did receive it, or it was as described. They do this in order to try and get a refund for a product they actually received. However, this one is a bit harder to prove. For this, you’ll want to show all evidence that the order was a low risk of fraud and that they did receive the product. Shipping tracking information is great here. If the customer signed for the order, that’s another fact on your side, but at least showing that the order was delivered is a start.  I should note that customers may file the product not received chargeback with due cause. If the order is taking too long, they may get nervous and file a chargeback. To avoid this, you’ll want to have clear shipping times listed on your store as well as the checkout or communicate this by email after an order is placed. Providing shipping options with tracking is great too.  If any delays do come up, you’ll want to let your customers know what to expect as soon as possible and remain in touch with them along the way so that they do not feel as though their order is lost. Chargebacks are handled completely by the credit card issuing bank, so you really want to show as much evidence as possible in hopes that they will side with you, determine the order legitimate and return the funds to you. You won’t be able to contact them to discuss the case further as they won’t be able to share information about their customer’s accounts with you (due to privacy policies). Once you submit your response (evidence) to the chargeback, you’ll need to wait for a response. This can take a little bit so you’ll need to be patient, but hopefully, you’ve provided as much evidence as possible and the credit card company will side with you.  Chargebacks can seem scary, daunting even, but if you equip yourself with knowledge, you should be well able to handle them. Running a business comes with many risks and chargebacks are one of them. Hopefully, you won’t need to deal with many, but if you do, be prepared by having already looked into the orders and having evidence on hand. If you do lose a chargeback, don’t despair, just remain vigilant in handling your orders and you shouldn’t have too many to worry about.  As mentioned, Google is your friend, too! So, if you are looking for more suggestions, feel free to take a look and see what you can find on anything from chargeback avoidance to responding to chargebacks. -- Christina is a fraud operations specialist at Shopify and a communications freelancer with a BA in communications. She loves puppies and Beyoncé and she’s played just about every sport in the book. You can check her out and reach out to her on Instagram: @millenniallifebiz Thank you to our GD Commerce Partners: Create Your Business Website Using Shopify Harness the Power of Drip CRM Software Set up Subscription Boxes, Recurring Orders and Payments Easily Using Bold Partners Boost Your Business Bookkeeping with Bench Learn How to Master Website SEO Using Mangools