How Small Business Owners Can Benefit From The Next Wave Of Digital Commerce

VisaBy Michael Jabbara
Director, Global Product & Market Enablement, Visa

Last week, I had the opportunity to present at the Annual America’s SBDC Conference in Nashville about the digital trends that are changing the commerce landscape and their potential impact on small businesses. Although digital commerce is not a new trend, the ways it is continually evolving consumer behavior can present both challenges and opportunities for small business owners. From virtual reality to voice activated assistants, I presented about how digital technology isn’t just altering the way people shop but what commerce can mean. Mobile and desktop channels made the shopping journey less linear. Now, emerging platforms are poised to transform entirely the way consumers interact and transact with their merchants.

According to an IBM study on digital platforms and commerce, 80 percent of companies are implementing Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives, 70 percent are developing voice command services and 50 percent are exploring augmented or virtual reality.i These initiatives are especially appealing to millennials and affluent consumers in the U.S., two segments that quickly adopt innovative solutions that make their lives more convenient and seamless.

The SBDC members were interested in how small business owners can leverage these digital trends to better engage with their customers. Some of the examples we discussed include a neighborhood restaurant that can use messaging services and chatbots embedded in social platforms to enable customers to order via interactive texting and track their delivery in real time. In addition, local businesses are looking to offer unique and targeted loyalty programs directly to customers’ smartphones.  (more…)

Top 6 Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Use CRM

Radhika Devidas
Product Marketing Associate | Zoho CRM

Small businesses offer a personal touch to their services that chain stores are unable to replicate. They have more latitude to help their customers and provide an experience unlike any other. It goes without saying that behind every successful small business is a lot of hard work and many long hours. Nothing will make being a business owner “easy,” but what if there were a product that could help a small business scale quickly through a system of customer centricity, process streamlining, and acute sales focus?

Customer Relations Management (CRM) software does exactly that. It’s why 65% of businesses opt to use a CRM system within the first five years of starting up. The evidence is abundant: CRM is a must-have software for every small business.

Zoho CRM

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What’s QuickBooks Self-Employed?

If you are a freelancer or independent contractor in any field, QuickBooks Self-Employed can help you stay prepared for tax time throughout the year. With your input, and by eventually understanding your way of doing business, QuickBooks Self-Employed will help you separate business and personal expenses as well as identify Schedule C deductions. If you need more guidance, or have loyalties to a tax preparer, you can invite them to sign-in to your account so their job becomes easier as well!

What makes it so special? Along with the tax readiness, QuickBooks Self-Employed offers tools that help you find and maximize deductions so you can focus on doing what you love. Yep, that means more money back in your pocket and more time to do what you do best.

On average, QuickBooks Self-Employed subscribers identify $4,340 in potential tax savings per year.*

But how does it work? QuickBooks Self-Employed customers get these where-have-you-been-all-my-life features:

1) Easily track your expenses. Once you connect a bank account, expense tracking helps you separate your personal and business spending with just the swipe of a screen.

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3 Tips to Collect Payments Online – Get Paid Like a Pro

By RuthAnn Hogue

Get paid onlineYou know you need a website, but you’re not sure whether you want to take the next step to make it capable of accepting payments online. After all, potential customers can fill out your contact form. Then you can call them back or send an email with a link or any other number of options other than closing the sale by collecting immediately.

Such an arrangement would never fly in a brick-and-mortar store. Intuitively, you know this is not the best option in the virtual world. In an era of instant gratification, businesses need to be able to serve up what’s on the menu before customers leave your store.

True enough, but doesn’t one need a merchant account to take online payments?

The all-in-one option

Let’s say you sell tech-related gadgets such as cell phones, chargers and accessories. They come in various brands, models, colors and sizes. Posting an information-only catalogue detailing what’s trendy and for sale can certainly pique consumer interest, but it can’t provide immediate results. For that, you’ll need to add a payment gateway.

Fortunately, many ready-made online store options are available, including GoDaddy’s Online Store. In addition to providing an online space to promote your gadgets, it will allow you to immediately close the sale by collecting online payment with PayPal and all major credits cards. By using this type of all-in-one eCommerce solution, you get a seamless way to collect payment. The funds you collect are transferred directly into your designated bank account.  (more…)

Web Design Trends for 2017

By Adam Wozney
Community Manager @ Wix
www.adamwozney.com

The first website launched in December of 1990. Remember 1990? Paula Abdul had a number one hit with “Opposites Attract,” the number one movie in America was “Home Alone,” and you may have owned a pair of parachute pants just like your idol MC Hammer. Over the last quarter century, styles and tastes have come and gone. Just like fashion and culture, web design trends constantly change. Keeping up with all of these trends can be difficult for a small business owner. But why even bother paying attention to web design trends? How does web design increase your bottom line? Well, you’re not still wearing parachute pants, are you?

At Wix, we would argue that web design is one of the most important factors of a business’s marketing strategy. Why? Designing an intuitive and engaging experience for your customers increases your customer lifetime value (CLTV). This is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. At the end of the day, a happy customer will lead to more sales and leads.

Lucky for you, Wix has been in the web design business for over a decade. Founded in 2006, Wix has over 96 million users on its small business management platform. With so many businesses across the globe using our services, we constantly search the Internet for the latest web design trends, bringing that information to our users. We have compiled a list of trends that will have an impact on website design in 2017.

Background Videos

Wix website– A website with a moving background – (more…)