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When an Iconic Founder Overshadows the Family Business

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It’s not uncommon to see family businesses in which the founder or leader plays such a public role that they become “iconic.” Often, the lasting effects of an iconic founder can stretch beyond his or her impact on the family to thwart the growth of the business going forward. An icon can cultivate and leave behind a “workforce of the past,” with loyal long-term employees defaulting to the icon’s preferred ways of managing at the expense of fresh ideas. They can nurture a culture of “yes” people rather than independent thinkers, and drive creative next-generation family members away from the business into their own endeavors where they have more control. When family members recognize the complexities of having a truly iconic founder, they can feel trapped. But there are steps they can take to prevent an iconic founder from overshadowing the next generation’s chance to grow and develop.

Sometimes a founder’s image is so publicly associated with his or her company, one rarely stops to ask, “Who is that person?” A few, such as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Henry Ford, and Ralph Lauren become something even more than that; they become “iconic.”

For many family businesses, having an iconic founder has enormous benefits. Building the brand of the person simultaneously builds the brand of the company. As the company has more success, the iconic founder gets more famous and more idealized by their employees and their family. What could be wrong with that?

It turns out that having a full-fledged iconic founder (or leader) is not always a good thing for the sustained health of the business. Though it might be beneficial to have an iconic founder at the helm of a business for years, it can also cause family leadership beyond the founder to be much more challenging. After all, who can live up to the image of a truly “iconic” founder who has become a kind of exaggerated character — a two-dimensional representation of the business without any visible human imperfections?

When founders become larger-than-life icons synonymous with the business itself, they begin to overshadow everyone and everything around them. Worse still, iconic founders can start to believe their own hype and hold next-generation leaders to impossible standards. They can create a “loyal” workforce that is resistant to new leadership, and potentially even cause family members to walk away from the business. Ironically, a wildly successful iconic founder can unintentionally set his beloved business up for failure in future generations.

But being part of a business with an iconic founder doesn’t have to derail the next generation if the family can find a balance between honoring what the “icon” has built and putting their own stamp on the business to help ensure that it will continue to thrive.

Where Iconic Founders Go Wrong

It’s not uncommon to see family businesses in which the founder (or a later-generation family leader) plays such a public role that they become “iconic” — their individual characteristics are submerged under an image that is “preserved” as wise, kind, heroic, generous, spiritual and/or many other idealized traits. The image that is projected out to a wider public — often even beyond the business’s customers — is carefully maintained and protected by employees and by family members. This process of protecting the “brand” can have significant downsides. The more powerful the public persona, the more pressure is felt by the family and the company to keep the founder on a pedestal.

Sometimes the individual entrepreneur is in fact as wise and kind as the image portrays him to be. But more often, that real person is all too human. Successful business leaders, iconic or not, make mistakes in business and in their personal lives. Worse still, we have seen iconic founders who begin to believe their own publicity and consistently choose to grow their image over helping others to shine. Sometimes, they hold their children up to such high standards — standards that they think reflect their “perfect image” — that the next generation feel (rightly so) they can’t possibly meet them.

Iconic founders often lack empathy for the sacrifices others (family, employees) are making.  They often see the world through one lens, which leads them to push for business growth and celebrity at the expense of all other priorities. As family members seek the iconic founder’s approval, he or she just pushes harder to promote a super-human image. Those closest to the founder find it hard to challenge him or her in any setting, business or family, for risk of being disregarded by the icon — better to agree and stay in good graces than confront and be shut out.

We have seen difficult dynamics evolve in the families of an iconic founder. When the icon makes irrational demands or unkind judgements, everyone snaps to order — no one disagrees. Family members’ (and often employees’ and colleagues’) unpleasant experiences with the icon get buried: to discuss their pain or to criticize is to be disloyal. The iconic founder’s flaws — some of them grave — stay invisible.

Finally, the lasting effects of an iconic founder can stretch beyond his or her impact on the family to thwart the growth of the business going forward. The icon can cultivate and leave behind a “workforce of the past,” with loyal long-term employees defaulting to the icon’s preferred ways of managing at the expense of fresh ideas. They can nurture a culture of “yes” people rather than independent thinkers, and drive creative next generation family members away from the business into their own endeavors where they have more control.

One “Icon” and His Family

We know one such iconic founder who started as a talkative and charismatic pitchman for small kitchen appliances. Dale (a pseudonym) developed his own line of specialized cooking gadgets, which he grew into a national brand with a high-quality reputation. He became well-known on TV, appearing not just in ads for his products, but also on popular cooking shows. He often socialized with celebrity chefs, and he was invited to the White House several times.

Home, though, was a less comfortable environment. His wife resented what she saw as his manic focus on the company and his image; he was absent from the family outside of work most of the time. His relationship with their four children was strained. Two of the four chose to work in the company and strived unsuccessfully for Dale’s approval. Their father often told them that the business was “too complicated” for them to understand and that they didn’t have the “big imagination” necessary for leadership. The younger two lived across the country and were disengaged from the business and the family.

What’s going on this family is a typical response to a dominant iconic founder. In family businesses, there are four common dynamics connected to an iconic founder:

  • The first response is the tendency among the next generation to judge others relentlessly. Dale’s two children who worked in the business continually criticized each other’s ideas in management and board meetings. Privately, key executives and outside directors acknowledged that the siblings seemed like they were trying to “out-Dale” Dale. Dale, for his part, barely listened to anyone’s ideas but just talked about his own plans for the next big splash. Neither sibling seemed capable of extending support or appreciation to their key managers or board members, perhaps because none had been extended to them by their father.
  • The second common family reaction is to disconnect. In this case, Dale’s two youngest children moved across the country to work in unrelated fields. Friends often remarked on how their talents could be valuable to their family business, but neither wanted anything to do with it. At the same time, they were careful about how they discussed their father with other people, even with each other. There was no safe place to talk about childhood feelings of abandonment and inadequacy arising from their father’s self-absorption.
  • Eventually, when the icon is disabled or dies, a paralyzing effect occurs: Family owners and business leaders can simply stop making decisions, freezing the company in time. When Dale’s eventual dementia became obvious and he retired from public life, there was no one to take his central decision-making role. The two siblings who worked in the business became co-CEOs, but most of the time they could not agree. Each criticized the other for not being having the “big imagination” necessary to lead or not doing “what Dale would do.”
  • The final impact is on the business, which can get stuck. In this case, management and board members watched helplessly as the business foundered. The long-tenured non-family managers who thrived in the company were the ones who knew how to say yes to Dale and were not capable of or interested in bringing new ideas. Newer, more talented executives were quickly frustrated by their inability to accomplish their goals and soon left the company. There were no pathways to evolve the workforce or the brand.

How the Next Generation Can Counter-Balance an Icon

When family members recognize the complexities of having a truly iconic founder, they can feel trapped. But there are steps you can take to prevent an iconic founder from overshadowing the next generation’s chance to grow and develop as individuals in your family businesses:

  • First, acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of the founder, but don’t let their shadow shade your identity. Recognize the founder as a dynamic person who took risks with a career and with the business. Think of the founder as an inspiration, not a constraint. Forge your own career based on your skills and passions, whether within or outside of the business. Avoid the temptation to be a clone of the icon.
  • Second, look forward, not backward. Recognize that your generation will need to find your own way. As next-generation family members, you may not yet be running the business, but as future owners, you can start to communicate, meet, develop trust, and determine how you want to be collective owners of the business. You do not have to be tied to the founder’s version of how family owners should operate.
  • Third, be prepared to evolve. You will need to recognize the impact of the icon on the family and the business, and to have the courage to say, “We need to do this differently.” Families who move successfully past the iconic founder refresh their strategies and push their businesses to evolve. In the family, they allow the “icon” to fade and instead acknowledge the talented and flawed relative.

Dale’s family went through some tough times in the post-Dale era, especially the second generation, who never were able to work together effectively. Fortunately, the two siblings who worked in the business managed to at least hold it together, allowing the third generation to bring in a refreshed business perspective. While the cousins were distanced from the business and each other by their unhappy parents, they still felt a connection to the iconic founder’s legacy. They started asking questions about who Dale was and developed an interest in getting to know each other and the business better.

It may not be possible to shake the overbearing influence of an iconic founder until the third generation, if they aren’t aren’t paralyzed by their parents’ emotional baggage. With fresh eyes and enthusiasm, they are able to focus on what the business needs to take it forward. Family businesses can survive  and thrive even after an iconic founder fades away.

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15 Tips and Tricks For A Successful Business

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Doing business is not a cakewalk. You need to understand, learn, and manage several things before you actually do it. It is a task that requires continuous efforts. Therefore, it might take days, months, or even years to become successful.

It does not matter how small or big your business plan is. What is more important is how determined and dedicated you are to make it work. As a businessman or a businesswoman, you need to be spontaneous, informed, smart, analytical, and before that a good leader. 

Thereafter, you need to keep an eye on your business infrastructure including the building, factory, machines, control valves, security, etc. 

Making a business successful and keep it running is not a one-day affair. That is why you must take every step carefully.

Want to make your business successful? But you don’t know how to do it? Don’t worry and follow these 15 tips and tricks to make your business successful- 

1. Time And Effort Is Everything

Your business idea is your brainchild. Just like you take time to understand your child’s needs and make efforts to give them the best upbringing. You need to treat your business in the same manner in order to make it successful.

2. Focus Is Your Key To Success

For anything you want to do and make it reach great heights, you need to be focused. Getting distracted by other things can cost you a lot in your business. You need to focus on your goals and work hard every day to achieve them.

3. Have A Fool-Proof Business Plan

The first step towards a successful business is a business plan. Before anything else, prepare a fool-proof plan. This means that it must have all the pros and cons involved in your business. 

Nothing works without a plan. So, for instance, if you are trying to set up a business for valves and plumping supplies, you need to consider the best and the most trusted manufacturers like DomBor for your supply needs.

4. Be Prepared to Take Calculated Risks

A great business owner is one, who is not afraid of taking risks. To make your business successful and to make it sustainable in the longer run, you must be ready to take some calculated risks. You must know how your decision will affect your business and how much loss you will incur. Only after analyzing everything make your final decision.

5. Know The A to Z Of The Industry

If you are an amateur in the business industry, then first you must start with the basics. For that learn about every minute detail about how your industry works. You must be aware of the latest trends in your industry.  Also, what works and whatnot, and how to enter the industry initially.

6. Connect And Communicate

Another trick for making your business successful is to connect and communicate with people from the industry. Get to know about the industry leaders and upcoming talent personally or through social media. Exchange your ideas with them and try to expand and publicize your business. 

7. Keep A Check On Your Growth

Being a business owner you must keep a sharp eye on the growth of your business. Analyze the data, read it thoroughly, see where you are lacking, and what you can do to improve it.

8. Failures Are A Part Of The Process

If you ever face failures in your business, then don’t get disheartened. Because failures play an important part in the process of your success. Out of all the other things, they tell you about what not to do in a business.

9. Learn From Your Competitors

Your biggest learnings will come from your competitors. No one can teach you business better than them. Learn from them whenever and however you can. Use your creativity and intelligence and do what seems best for the success of your business.

10. Be Flexible In Your Approach

Never become too rigid with your approach to doing business. Be flexible with it and be open to changes. Sometimes what you feel is right may not be the best for your business. In that scenario, changing your approach might help.

11. Ensure Your Best Services

Always ensure the best services to your customers. Whether you are a small-scale business or a large-scale one, never compromise with the quality of your services. This builds your customer’s trust in you and ensures a long-term association. 

12. Market Your Business

It is important to prepare a market strategy for your business to make it successful. It helps you to introduce your business to a large number of people at the same time. 

13. Take Feedback To Know Your Customers Better

To make a business successful customer satisfaction is of utmost importance. You cannot meet all your customers in person. Thus, taking feedback from them online or offline is helpful to know your areas of improvement.  

14. Stick to your Core Values

Early success is a myth. It lasts for a short period of time and there is no guarantee that it will sustain itself. That is why instead of using shortcuts, stick to your core values and take your business to great heights.

15. Research And Repeat

Last and the most important tip is to keep researching about the new prospects in your business area. It is crucial to make your business successful.

Conclusion

Every business owner wants their business to reach great heights. But only a few of them know how to actually do it. Running a business is not an easy task. It requires years of hard work and continuous efforts. Also, you need to learn and unlearn facts.

Therefore, to make your business successful and to make it sustain that success, you need to be well informed. Also, you must be aware of the current business scenario of your respective sector. Just follow these steps and see your business become successful.

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How to use Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce features to gain more customers

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As a business owner, you may be wondering how customers are engaging with your ecommerce website. Are they enjoying the products you have to offer or is there more you could be doing to help boost online sales? With Enhanced Ecommerce Reports in Google Analytics (GA), you have the ability to analyze sales reports and monitor consumer behavior for different products you sell online. Utilizing these reports strategically will allow you to build and improve your business over time.

The best way to utilize Enhanced Ecommerce Reports will depend on:

  • What questions you want answered
  • The reports you want to use to research data
  • What you want to do with the info you collect
  • The goals you want to set and how to optimize and reach them

Additionally, Enhanced Ecommerce Reports help you drill down into purchase and transaction data for your business.

Examples of things you can research include:

  • Product and transaction data
  • Average order value
  • Ecommerce conversion rate
  • Time to purchase and more

Below, we’ll discuss how your business can benefit from this information. Plus, run through a breakdown of the different features you can use to forecast goals and gain more customers.

Related: Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console to find out what’s bringing people to your website

What businesses benefit from Enhanced Ecommerce features?

There are two types of Ecommerce Reports that GA supports: Standard and Enhanced. The Standard version is the original tracking report and is helpful if you only need data that occurs after purchases are made (aka the end of the sales funnel). Many startups and smaller businesses begin with this option first, then move up to Enhanced Ecommerce later on.

Businesses that want to track the entire customer journey, from beginning to end, should look no further than Enhanced Ecommerce Reports.

These reports do everything that Standard Ecommerce Reports do, but with a much wider scope of information.

You can drill down into specific questions like:

  • How many people are viewing your product details page?
  • What stage of the journey are people abandoning their carts?
  • Are your coupons and promotions generating a healthy amount of revenue?

Typically, larger and more advanced ecommerce businesses benefit more from these reports since they have a wider range of products.

It allows them to see where they can optimize their product listings, marketing investments, checkout process and more.

It’s important to note that enabling Enhanced Ecommerce features requires resources and planning to get started. It’s the main reason why businesses with a limited budget often opt for the Standard version first.

You can learn more about Standard Ecommerce Reports here to see if it’s right for you.

How to enable Enhanced Ecommerce reporting

While having this amount of information at your fingertips is great for business, it does require a more advanced understanding of technical know-how (like coding and javascript). This is because you’ll need to implement tracking codes for every page of your site that you want to track.

Additionally, only select third-party ecommerce platforms (WooCommerce included) can integrate with the Enhanced Ecommerce Plugin.

So, hiring an experienced web developer to help run things more smoothly (and efficiently) is a major recommendation here.

 

But if you have the technical chops to DIY it yourself, you can reference this handy guide from Neil Patel to get started.

Once all the coding and page tracking is in place, you can then turn on the Enhanced Ecommerce view within GA by going to Admin > Ecommerce Settings (in the “View” column). Google also has a detailed step-by-step guide you can reference to easily accomplish this.

Ecommerce setup

If you’re just beginning, you can also experiment with a demo GA account to get a feel for how it works. Note that you’ll need to be using the Universal Analytics version of GA to follow along. But it’s good practice to browse through the different features to see if it’s the right move for your business.

A quick breakdown of the Enhanced Ecommerce Reports

Conversions and Ecommerce tabs on GA navigation menu

Now that we know the pros and cons of this plugin, let’s dive into the specific reports it has to offer. You can navigate to the Enhanced Ecommerce Reports by clicking the “Conversions” tab in the GA menu on the left and then scrolling down to “Ecommerce.”

Overview Report

In the “Overview” section, you’ll start out with a dashboard that shows the following information:

  • Revenue & conversion rates
  • Transactions
  • Marketing (campaigns, promotions, coupons, affiliation)
  • Product performance (top sellers/low sellers)

You can think of this page as a type of business health report, along with additional data on how your users are interacting with your page.

Overview report

Shopping Behavior Report

Shopping Behavior Report

The Shopping Behavior Report is where you’ll go when you want to see how your customers are moving along the sales funnel. It’ll provide details on how your new and returning visitors are interacting with your site, based on sessions coming from:

  • Product views: High product views with low checkout rates could indicate you need to better optimize your product listings. Work with your content team to see how you can make your listings better with added tutorials, videos or reviews.
  • Add to cart: A high add-to-cart rate with a low checkout rate could signify an issue with your pricing. Work with your marketing department to draft up better promos and check out competitor pricing to see if you need to make some adjustments.
  • Checkout: If your checkout rate is low, you may need to optimize the checkout process better. Work with your web developer to make the process easier and more convenient for customers to use.

These three indicators will help you get a better sense of where your users are getting stuck in the customer journey. Use the data you collect here to set goals for your team and overall business.

Related: 10 tactics to turn impulse shopping into stone-cold sales

Checkout Behavior Report

Checkout Behaviour Report

The Checkout Behavior Report is similar to the Shopping Behavior Report, except that it concentrates more on the different stages of your checkout process. You can use this data to see what stage of the checkout process your users are abandoning their carts.

Most ecommerce businesses have multiple steps for customers to fill out before their transaction is complete. But it’s possible your audience may prefer a single-page method, too. You can work with your developer to configure customized labeling for each of your checkout steps under Admin > View > Ecommerce Settings.

Possible points of interest to keep an eye on include:

  • URL issues: Unwarranted redirects or page links that look untrustworthy can dissuade a customer from following through on a transaction. Ensure that all your links are working properly and optimize your checkout pages so that customers know your site is safe to use. GoDaddy Payments offers streamlined verification and advanced encryption to protect you and your customer’s personal data.
  • Payment pages: If you’re noticing a high abandon rate within your payments page, it could mean it’s time to analyze how efficient it is. Opt for features that make the process more convenient with things like one-click pay or seek out mobile-friendly solutions that make the process run smoother on different devices.
  • Specific customer preferences: The way your audience interacts with your checkout process could be different from how they interact with other ecommerce sites. The best way to tell what works best for your audience is to conduct A/B testing. This could help determine whether your customers prefer things like single or multi-page checkouts.

When in doubt, consult with your web developer and UI/UX team to see how you can better optimize your checkout process using the data collected from this report.

Product Performance Report

Product Performance Report

The Product Performance report is a great way to see how well your products are doing when it comes to sales and customer interaction. You’ll notice the report is separated by Sales Performance and Shopping Behavior metrics.

Sales Performance

Metrics under this category will give you a sales breakdown by product, SKU, category or brand. You can find and toggle these different views in the Primary Dimension bar under the graph at the top.

Each view will give you information using the metrics below:

  • Product revenue
  • Unique purchases
  • Quantity
  • Average price
  • Average quantity
  • Product refund amount

If you want to dive a little further, you can add a Secondary Dimension using the dropdown menu under the Primary Dimension bar.

This will serve as a type of filter that shows you other insights like:

  • What landing pages are bringing in the most product sales?
  • Which devices (mobile vs. desktop) are customers using most to buy certain products?
  • How effective are your campaigns with promoting products?

Use this information to help you prioritize the areas that can increase your conversion rate most.

Shopping Behavior

This category of metrics will show you the number of customers that are adding products to their carts compared to the number of people finishing their purchase.

These two metrics are categorized by:

  • Cart-to-detail rate
  • Buy-to-detail rate

The average percentage at the top of each column is a good indicator to use as a reference when looking at the numbers for each product. GA will automatically show you a list with the best performers at the top. But if you want to view products with lower than average numbers, you can add a filter by clicking the Advanced button near the top of the metric columns.

For more information on filters, check out this GA tutorial that breaks it down even further.

Sales Performance Report

Sales Performance Report

The Sales Performance Report is what you’ll use when you want to track your sales over a specific time period. You can customize the date range you want to look into by clicking the dropdown menu in the upper right corner. Below the dropdown menu, you’ll have options to view the visual graph based on day, week or month.

This information will help you get a sense of sales based on two dimensions:

  • Transaction ID: This represents the purchase information from a specific transaction. It’s typically linked to your ecommerce shopping platform and works in tandem with your CMS.
  • Date: Sorting this report by date will automatically show you the dates with the highest sales.

Clicking either the Purchase ID or Date number will show you the revenue and quantity metrics of products sold within that transaction or date.

When you’re in the main summary page, you’ll view other metrics like:

  • Revenue
  • Tax
  • Shipping
  • Refund Amount
  • Quantity

You can use this report to pinpoint high transaction dates or dates with high peaks of sales in certain products (like seasonal items). This will allow you to concentrate your marketing efforts (think coupons and promotions) towards those specific areas.

However, you can also use this report to help you target the lower trending sales by switching up your product offerings or branching out to new markets (going global can help).

Product List Performance Report

Product List Performance Report

The Product List Performance report helps you view data for specific groups or categories you have listed for products on your ecommerce website. This snapshot allows you to view which products are performing well and which ones could benefit from additional optimization.

Like the Checkout Behaviour report, you can work with your web developer to customize your groupings the way you see fit.

Here are three different ways most ecommerce businesses tend to group their products:

  • Categories: Brands can separate a wide range of products into categories that are typically found within a navigation menu. For example, a fashion brand might categorize its products by handbags, dresses, and shoes.
  • Search results: You can create a list that categorizes all the products that show up whenever someone types specific keywords into a query.
  • Related products: This list can be made to represent add-ons or suggested items under a product details page.

Once you have your lists configured the way you want them, you can then compare your top performers against your low performers using specific filters in the advanced settings.

Why it all matters

Setting up the Enhanced Ecommerce plugin takes a bit of time and money, but it’s well worth the investment in the long run.

The reports found within Enhanced Ecommerce will give you a wide scope of information that tracks the entire customer journey.

It’s filled with insight on areas of opportunity for your business, along with key areas of success.

 

Remember, anything that makes the customer experience more convenient and user-friendly will help boost your overall sales and conversion rates.

Do your research, analyze the results, and work with your team to tackle goals that can help grow your ecommerce business successfully.

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Tips from Google to make the most of the 2021 holiday shopping season

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Before looking ahead to this holiday shopping season, let’s take a quick look back at 2020, and what a year it was. Amid all the challenges came new opportunities and unprecedented growth for ecommerce. Emerging data offers insights into shifting consumer behavior and its positive impact on ecommerce.

The pandemic definitely triggered a shift to more online shopping. In fact, online sales in early spring of last year exceeded sales during the 2019 holiday season by 7%. Additional research shows ecommerce growth on hyperdrive, with 10 years of growth happening in just three months.

There’s more good news for online retailers: 39% of consumers say they’re buying more online now than they were a year ago. And 81% of consumers in surveyed countries across the globe say they’ve discovered new brands online during during COVID-19.

It’s clear that 2021 will continue to be a year of peak demand, making it a critical time to connect with your shoppers. That’s why it’s more important than ever for your business to be discoverable online this holiday season with help from GoDaddy and Google.

Get ready to reach more shoppers online

Google ad from ceramic plates

People shop across Google more than one billion times each day, searching for products just like yours. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with customers when and where they’re looking to make their holiday purchases.

With GoDaddy’s new Google channel, you can easily add your products to Google for free and promote them with a Smart Shopping campaign to drive traffic to your GoDaddy online store.

3 ways Google can help you prep for peak moments

Use these three free Google tools to gain greater insights into the current consumer mindset as shoppers gear up for the 2021 holiday season.

1. Explore what the world is searching for with Google Trends

explore what the world is searching

Google Trends lets you see in almost real-time what people are — or aren’t — looking for across Google Search, YouTube, Google Shopping, and Google Images. You can pinpoint where there’s growing interest in products and search terms to guide you in selecting which products to promote. Take new information about what your target market is searching for and incorporate these topics into your SEO and content marketing strategy.

2. Discover what shoppers are looking for

Most shoppers today are doing more research before purchasing.

Shopping Insights gives you information on what people are searching for on Google, related to products and brands.

It’s a guide filled with articles, data, and insights that can help you navigate three critical steps in today’s shopping journey: inspiration, research, and purchase.

3. Evaluate your retail website with Grow My Store

As people spend more time online, they have higher expectations from ecommerce websites and apps. With Grow My Store, you can analyze the customer experience on your site and pick up practical tips for how to improve. You can also see how your site stacks up against retailers in the same industry and find insights on market and consumer trends to help reach new customers.

With this holiday season ramping up, make sure to position your online business in the right spot with help from GoDaddy and Google.

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