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Website Terminology Glossary: Ecommerce, Vol. 1 

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When you’re hustling, time is money and that money comes in coins, not bills. It’s why we made our Website Terminology Glossary for web pros. This free resource for designers, developers, marketers or anyone else makes it easier explaining technical stuff to clients.

Rather than a lengthy back-and-forth, quickly find definitions that break it down in real terms. Start getting time back — and put more of those coins in the bank.

Website Terminology Glossary: Ecommerce, Vol. 1

Ecommerce can be tough because it requires so much follow-up by clients. It’s key to make sure you’re using language everyone understands to avoid missteps. These basic ecommerce terms are a good start to smoother communication.


Average order value (AOV)

This key measurement represents the average amount of money customers spends after a visit to an online store. Several things can affect AOV, like pricing, the way products are presented, and the availability of related items. To calculate AOV, simply define a time period, and then divide total revenue by the number of orders during that time.

It’s kinda like

The manager of a grocery store probably looks at the amount each shopper spends during their visits. This figure might be increased by having more competitive pricing or by placing stuff like magazines and snacks in checkout lanes to encourage last-minute purchases.

You also might hear

cross-sell, upsell, abandonment rate


Brick-and-mortar

When an online store is an extension of a physical location, we refer to the physical location as the brick-and-mortar presence. Most brick-and-mortar retailers can benefit from establishing an ecommerce website, as it allows them to reach a larger audience.

It’s kinda like

While websites are built with materials including text, images and code, physical stores are often constructed with bricks and mortar (hence the name).

You also might hear

offline shopping, physical location


Bundling

Related products can be bundled together for a discounted price, compared with buying them individually. This encourages larger purchases and makes customers less likely to compare prices. When bundling products, it’s important to make sure there’s real value for customers and differentiation from competitors.

It’s kinda like

While you can buy spark plugs individually, a lot of engines use more than one. That’s why parts dealers bundle spark plugs depending on how many you need. It creates value for owners of different types of engines.

You also might hear

cross-sell, upsell, freemium


Business to business (B2B)

B2B describes a transaction made between businesses, like installing a computer network or providing business insurance. As such, B2B marketing involves messaging that’s mostly relevant to those running a business.

It’s kinda like

If you were a distributor selling produce to grocery stores, you might highlight your record of on-time deliveries or greater availability — not so much the perfect recipes for your produce.

You also might hear

B2B, business audience, targeted marketing


Business to consumer (B2C)

B2C describes a transaction made between businesses and consumers, like selling a computer or providing homeowner’s insurance. As such, B2C marketing involves messaging that’s mostly relevant to those consuming a final product.

It’s kinda like

If you were a grocer selling produce to consumers (B2C), you might highlight recipes for your offerings — not so much the transportation cost to get them in your store.

You also might hear

B2C, consumer audience, end user, targeted marketing


Checkout path

All the steps a customer must take to complete their purchase represent the checkout path. It can include shipping methods and inputting payment. While you can increase revenue by adding offers such as related products to your checkout path, it’s also important to keep the experience uncluttered so your shoppers don’t abandon their purchases due to frustration.

It’s kinda like

When you go to check out at the grocery store, lanes usually display products like chewing gum and magazines, but they don’t block your path to the register. You might grab something on a whim, but if it’s too hard to move through the lane you’ll likely find another one — or a different store.

You also might hear

cross-sell, upsell, checkout process, checkout flow, conversion rate optimization


Conversion

On a website, when a visitor performs a desired action like signing up for an email list or scheduling a consultation, it’s called a conversion. With online stores, a conversion is making a purchase.

It’s kinda like

In sports, a team tries to convert possessing the ball into a score. You should push your ecommerce team to convert visits into purchases.

You also might hear

conversion rate, bounce rate, visits, page views, event, action


Fulfillment

When you pack, ship and deliver an order, you’ve fulfilled it. While you might usually be the one handling fulfillment, some ecommerce merchants will partner with a third party to fulfill orders of certain products.

It’s kinda like

As seasons change, some agricultural commodities become scarce — but growers still have contracts to fulfill. If these growers can’t fulfill orders with their own crops, they purchase what they need from another grower, and then pack shipments using their own label. Same thing holds true with ecommerce.

You also might hear

drop shipping


Merchant account

A merchant account lets ecommerce merchants accept payments, typically in the form of credit or debit card transactions. While you enroll through a bank, these accounts often include a third party that processes payments. Due to the sensitive nature of date transferred via merchant accounts, enrollment requires you follow specific rules for privacy and security.

It’s kinda like

Banks have always offered accounts specifically for businesses. Early on, the advantages included more effective management of records and taxes. Today in the digital age, new types of accounts address the needs of online businesses.

You also might hear

payment gateway, payment processor


Product attributes

Product attributes are specific characteristics like the size and color of clothing, the type of operating system used by a phone or computer, or the logos that adorn sports gear. With an online store, defining product attributes lets shoppers more quickly find what they’re looking for. But it’s important to strike a balance — too many or irrelevant attributes will clutter a shopping experience, while too few makes searching difficult.

It’s kinda like

When you go to large department stores, you’ll see signs directing you to specific products like children’s swimwear or men’s shoes. Product attributes do the same thing, letting shoppers find their desired products at a glance.

You also might hear

configurable, filters, menus, categories


Shopping cart

In ecommerce, a shopping cart is the part of a website that lets visitors select and purchase products. On websites that aren’t solely focused on ecommerce, the term shopping cart can refer to an application that allows visitors to make purchases.

It’s kinda like

It’s pretty much like an analog shopping cart, actually. You push it around as you shop, drop stuff in it, and then pay for everything once you’re done.

You also might hear

shopping cart abandonment, cross sell, upsell, shipping methods

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From clip art to Comic Sans: These screenshots from 25 years ago show just how much the internet has changed

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  • A report from Morgan Stanley analysts in 1996 predicted the prevalence of the internet.
  • It said a person of intermediate web literacy was anyone who simply knew their own email address.
  • From clip art to Comic Sans, screenshots show how different the internet looks 25 years later.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Morgan Stanley tech analysts Mary Meeker and Chris DePuy knew the world was on the cusp of something big in 1996. They drafted a 323-page report expressing their high hopes for the internet, saying it could be "one of the hottest new markets to develop in years."

Looking back on the report now shows just how far the internet has come in 25 years.

For starters, the report shows how rare some now-common internet activities were in the past. Among 150 million estimated PC users around the globe, the authors estimated 23% had used email for work, 6% had used the web, and 5% had used an online service.

"We feel that e-mail, online/Web access may be ubiquitous for PC users within a decade," the authors wrote. "At a minimum, e-mail should become pervasive. So should Internet/Web access: E-mail is the 'killer application' of the Internet today, and browsing through information services the 'killer app' of tomorrow."

Another marker of the web's progress came from the authors' guide to the report for audiences of varying levels of internet literacy.

Meeker and DePuy defined a novice reader of the report as someone who had "never heard of Motley Fool, CNET, or Yahoo." An intermediate audience was just anyone who "knows [their] own email address."

Take a glimpse at the internet of yesteryear with these screenshots of websites from 25 years ago.

McDonald’s

an animated Ronald McDonald the clown and two animated McDonald's employees at the counter

Microsoft

the Microsoft website in 1996

AOL

a red sidebar on the left and paragraphs on the right of the AOL website in 1996

Blockbuster

the words video, music, books, news, and games on the Blockbuster website in 1996

Xerox

clip art of a film reel and giant question mark

Coca-Cola

various images on a yellow background on the Coca-Cola website in 1996

Amazon

a blue box in the corner of the Amazon website in 1996

Nokia

a picture of a landline phone and a table of contents on the Nokia website in 1996

Mercedes-Benz

animated cars and the Mercedes-Benz logo on a gray background

Sony

a digital table of contents on the Sony website in 1996

Almanac.com

farming tips on a yellow background on Almanac.com

Ebay

text about Ebay on the company's website in 1996

GAP

sweaters and ornaments on the GAP website in 1996

Comedy Central

the Comedy Central website in 1996

Intel

icons on the Intel website in 1996

Frito-Lay

colorful splotches on a white trapezoid that says Lay's at the center

American Express

icons on a sea foam green background on the Amex website in 1996

IBM

orange and purple blocks and the words "tis the season" on the IBM website in 1996

Yahoo

several rows of hyperlinks on the Yahoo website in 1996

MT V2

a blue background with pictures of people and M2 MTV logos

AltaVista

a red banner and search area on the AltaVista website in 1996

The Weather Channel

clouds and a digital table of contents on The Weather Channel's website in 1996

The White House

animated icons and descriptions on the White House website in 1996

Nintendo

several icons on a black background on the Nintendo website in 1996

Kodak

four panels of photos with the globe in the background

Pepsi

a green and black background with the words "Pepsi World" in the middle

MSN

paragraphs and a picture of grass and the sky on the MSN website in 1996

Netscape

several paragraphs on the Netscape website in 1996

Dell

color-coded text boxes and icons on the Dell website in 1996

Epic Games

a digital table of contents on the Epic Games website in 1996

MIT

hyperlinks on the MIT website in 1996

Disney

a blue wave and icons on The Disney Store's website in 1996

Microsoft Windows 95

an image of a pink birthday cake and several paragaphs on the Microsoft Windows 95 website

The X-Files

a black background with the words "The X-Files"

1996 Olympic Games

several icons and an image of people playing basketball on the 1996 Olympics website

HP

rows of hyperlinks and an image of trees amidst a sunrise on the HP website in 1996

Adobe

a calendar, yellow sidebars, and the words happy holidays on the Adobe website in 1996

FedEx

an animation of a box in motion on the FedEx website in 1996

UPS

a picture of a box, a baby, and the Olympics logo on the UPS website in 1996

Pizza Hut

the Pizza Hut logo and online order form from 1996

Toyota

an image of a car, several paragraphs, and the word Toyota on a yellow background

Adidas

a foot, a sock, and a red animated face

Hertz

several colorful stripes on the Hertz website in 1996

National Hockey League

pictures of hockey players on the NHL website in 1996

GeoCities

the GeoCities website in 1996
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8 steps to build a strategy before you launch a website

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You probably already know every business needs a website. However, you may not already know that every business also needs to build a strategy before they launch a website.

It is no longer enough to simply post a standard webpage for your brand and call it a day. If you want your website to be a foundational, productive part of your marketing, it must be a part of a larger strategy.

Let’s look at why you need a strategy before you launch a website and the steps you can take to create one.

Why you need to build a strategy before you launch a website

A website strategy is a plan for how you will use your website as a part of your larger marketing plan. It helps you organize your brand messaging and centralize your marketing efforts.

If you don’t have a website strategy, you run the risk of:

  • Confusing customers with mixed messaging and a poor site structure.
  • Never showing up in search when people look for a business like you.
  • Losing website visitors before they become leads or customers because they don’t know what steps to take to work with you.
  • Spending time and resources creating a site that doesn’t work for your business

A website strategy ensures that your site has what it needs to effectively reach your customers and guide them toward doing business with you. Don’t skip this important process.

The 8 steps to build a website strategy

Before you start building your website, go through these eight steps to create a plan that will guide your site creation and lead to a more effective website. 

  1. Decide who you want to target.
  2. Determine your website goals.
  3. Define your primary call to action.
  4. Define your secondary call to action.
  5. Define your unique selling propositions.
  6. Conduct keyword research.
  7. Outline the pages you need.
  8. Create a strategy for each page

By doing these eight things, you’ll be well on your way to attracting your target audience — and getting the results you want.

1. Decide who you want to target

Having a clear picture of who you want to target is instrumental in creating your website strategy. Start here, and don’t only include obvious details.

Go deeper and define who your audience is and what they want, think, and need. For example, if you are a dentist, your customers aren’t simply anyone with teeth. Think about your ideal customer, and answer questions like:

  • Where do they live?
  • Where else do they shop?
  • What do they do for work and for fun?
  • Where do they get information?
  • What kind of language and terminology do they use?
  • How do they search for and find businesses like you?

Related: Build and use your ideal customer profile and personas

2. Determine your website goals

While every business needs a website, most businesses need websites for different reasons. Each may have different goals for their site, and the goals will drive the strategy to create it.

Define the top two or three goals for your website. You may have more, but only focus on a few as you get started. Your goals might be:

  • Build trust
  • Generate referrals
  • Get found via search
  • Educate your customers
  • Showcase your work
  • Generate leads
  • Drive sales, orders, or online scheduling

3. Define your primary call-to-action

Once you know your website goals, it will be easier to define your primary call-to-action (CTA).

A primary CTA is the direction you’d like people to take when they visit your website. A restaurant’s primary CTA might be to make a reservation. A spa might be to schedule an appointment, and a boutique might invite people to browse their online shop.

Your primary CTA should drive people to take the most important step toward working with you.

 

You need to know your primary CTA before you start building your website because you will lay out your site to funnel people to that CTA.

Related: 8 costly call-to-action mistakes you’re making on your website

4. Define your secondary call-to-action

A secondary CTA is another action you invite website visitors to take. It is not as consequential as the primary CTA, but it should also lead visitors down a path toward doing business with you.

For example, a restaurant’s secondary CTA might be to view the menu or sign up for their email list to get 10% off their first online order. A spa might invite people to download a self-care video series, and a boutique might invite people to join their rewards program.

The secondary call-to-action should resonate with people who are higher up in the sales funnel. The step should require less commitment while also guiding website visitors closer toward becoming a customer.

5. Define your unique selling propositions

Once you know who you are talking to and what you want them to do, consider why they should take this action. Outline your unique selling proposition (USP) — the thing or things that make you different from your competition.

Having a list of USPs helps you shape the messaging on your website. It directs your copy and allows you to communicate your offerings more clearly to website visitors.

6. Conduct keyword research

Keywords are a foundational part of your website, so your website strategy should include keyword research.

Conduct keyword research to identify the terms you need to target on your site and for each page. Look for terms your target audience searches for that are related to your business, popular, and with low competition.

Related: How to do SEO keyword research to drive traffic to your website

7. Outline the pages you need

It’s important to have a strategy before you launch a website because it will determine what pages you need on your site. Almost all business websites need pages for:

  • Home
  • About
  • General business products/services
  • Contact

From there, determine what pages you need based on your goals and CTAs. What products and services do you have to promote? What pages do you need to funnel people into your primary or secondary CTAs? What content do you need to fully introduce your business and educate potential customers? What pages do you need to target specific keywords?

Use your strategy to determine what other pages you need, such as pages for:

  • Locations
  • Team
  • Individual products/services
  • FAQs
  • Testimonials
  • Case studies
  • Blog posts

8. Create a strategy for each page

Finally, once you know what pages you need, develop an individual strategy for each page. Plug every page into your larger strategy so each guides visitors toward your primary or secondary CTA. Also, optimize each page so it gives both visitors and search engines what they need to find value on the page.

  • Assign a unique target keyword to each page.
  • Optimize the page for that target keyword.
  • End each page with a CTA that guides visitors one step closer to the primary or secondary CTA.

Put your website strategy to work


If you want to create a valuable marketing asset that will work for your brand 24/7, take time to build a strategy before you launch a website. Then, take your website strategy and put it to work.

  • Give it to the copywriter who is creating your on-site content.
  • Give it to your website designer or developer who is building your site.
  • Use it to direct your work if you build your site on your own.
  • Keep it to direct all your site’s future modifications and content strategies.

Ready to put your website strategy to work? See how Websites + Marketing can help you start creating your website today.

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Inspiring Your Workforce Through Digital Technology Can Improve Your Business Performance.

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Britain’s economy was almost on its knees as it suffered its biggest annual decline in 300 years in 2020 amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. A small crumb of comfort was that the UK somehow managed to steer clear of a double-dip recession.

The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 9.9% in 2020, as no sector of the economy was left unscathed by lockdowns and an unprecedented slump in demand during the pandemic. 

Although the economy has avoided a double-dip recession, analysts said it was probably shrinking at the start of the year, with the toughest Covid lockdown restrictions since the first wave weighing down activity.

But it’s not just the coronavirus crisis that impacts business and its ability to produce shareholder value, we live in an age where there has never been so much change. The world is full of disruptive influences, from technology to politics to climate issues.

Business leaders have been battling at the sharp end of this storm to keep the corporate ship afloat while others are drowning in a volatile world economy.

Those at the top are faced with a constant barrage of high-pressure situations from a potential merger or acquisition, upcoming regulatory upheaval, or overhauling the organisational structure to accommodate a new generation of employees.

But whatever specific changes your organisation is going through, you likely share a common aim with many peers, and that’s to deliver better customer experience

Because whether you’re operating in technical legal or accounting services or a new digital sales set-up, delivering better customer experience is a proven way to drive output, profitability, and growth.

We’ve all witnessed the CEO launching that exciting new change programme. 

Excited senior management roll out new sales and service training, inspiring workshops and presentations, a sense of excitement and renewed optimism runs through the company, and the early improvement in results gives the workforce a lift.

However, over the next few weeks and month, old habits creep back in, energy levels drop and before you know it, you’re back where you started.

The bigger issue is that yet another ‘transformation’ has failed to deliver leads to an even more depressed working environment than before.

Businesses need to get to grips with the fundamental issue that the quality of their customer experience, and the success of their business outcomes, is driven by the engagement of their workforce. 

Innovative new ways of instilling a positive culture of change are needed and the use of digital technology to deliver long term improvements are being seen as the way forward.

Even the most sceptical of boards have had to acknowledge that company culture is ultimately the deal breaker when it comes to change. 

Executives need to empower their leadership teams to constantly tweak and refine the way they engage with their staff to understand how they are reacting to change.

Digital tools are intuitive and even fun, but can engage people, and importantly allows businesses to continually monitor behaviours – in what is a volatile world, it’s a powerful and successful way of applying new technology to enable businesses to cope with whatever is thrown at it.

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