All posts in "Business"

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Starting a Business

a few months ago

Starting a business is a tough hill to climb. However, if every potential businessman thought of it this way, then there would be no successful businesses now. It takes a lot of preparation, but the benefits that a businessman would reap after years of running it will surely be priceless.

To shake off some of the newbie nerves, here are some strategies when starting a business:

Build a business you’d like

The first few steps of starting a business will be very challenging. That’s why it is important for anyone to build a business out of something they like doing for the next few years or for the rest of their lives.

If an individual has a business they like, it’s going to have an effect on their motivation and the effort they put in starting and maintaining the business. In the long run, the business they’re starting with will become their passion.

Aside from liking it, an individual should ask himself why he’s doing it. Find the purpose. Identify the calling. This business started from that tiny random curiosity in the corner of one’s mind, and now, it’s turning into reality.

Have patience in knowing the business landscape

It is completely normal to not know everything yet. An individual who’s a master of what he’s doing right now has definitely started as a shaky learner in the very beginning.

Understand that it really is going to be a process to polish every business transaction and it should only be fine to make mistakes because that’s where the individual will learn. As they say, the experience is the best teacher.

Do your research

When starting a business, a lot of things boil down to preparation and readiness. Research about the competitive landscape of the industry that the business will be a part of. Moreover, an individual should have an overview of the target market. This is to make sure that the business is delivering what the customers want and not what the owner wants.

Study their buyer’s journey and customer behavior. While experimenting from time to time might strike gold, the business would benefit in having a full grasp of their target audience’s identity.

Organize yourself

Before an individual is ready to manage quite a number of people, he or she should be ready to manage himself first. This could simply be plotting all the business’ initial activities in the calendar, fixing all the logistics, up to the nitty gritty of setting up a business.

Keep in mind to follow through when there’s an idea at hand and plan the step-by-step process to not get lost in the way. An organized self will be focused and determined.

Know the business bureaucracies

It is not a surprise that setting up a business involves a lot of processes from the business itself up to the government. Licenses, permits, and recruitment notices should all be attended to. Never be late in paying the business’ taxes because this will escalate to a huge problem if not addressed right away.

When employees come in, their payrolls take effect on the business’ budget, so dividing the revenue properly is really crucial.

After reading these initial tips, don’t be afraid to buzz a friend or a colleague to ask for assistance and guidance. Simply ask the minor details of starting and running a business.

Also, family matters when it comes to starting a business. They can give the support an individual never knew he needed. This is not just a phase in one’s life. It’s a life-changing decision that could affect his life forever. And lastly, keep the ball rolling and grab every opportunity that comes along. Success is just around the corner.

This was a guest post by Jess Andriani from Connext Digital.

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10 Global B2B E-Commerce Marketplaces To Expand Your Business In 2019

a few months ago

The e-commerce B2B platforms have introduced a new wave of advancements, which has enabled businesses and companies to get the best product and services at the highest quality.

 

Without moving an inch from your couch, you can view a huge range of collection from brands belonging to every corner of the world.

 

Moreover, from efficient order tracking to secured payment methods, you can experience e-shopping like never before. Such are the traits of the well-known brands that have brought them among the list of top ten B2B Companies of 2019.

 

Gone are the days when buying/selling was hectic. You have to spend hours searching for your desired product in malls and markets and just when you finally get that piece, the salesperson shocks you by saying that your size is not available. However, now things are way more different.

 

Now you do not have to waste time searching, you can leave that on the highly advanced platforms that are integrated with super-intelligent technologies. Before you learn about these brands to see how they can let you take a leap to success here are some prominent stats and facts.

As per the Frost & Sullivan report, by 2020 the e-commerce business is going to make around $1.2T, excluding EDI transactions. Apart from this, the B2B brands offer 62% enhanced search facility to online buyers and sellers.

1. Amazon

Amazon is one of the largest e-retail platforms. It caters companies all around the globe. The company has created its footprint in almost every region and industry. It operates in 14 countries. Some of them are Italy, Mexico, US, France, and Canada. Amazon has over 250k full-time employees who provide exceptional services.

The platform has products belonging to almost every kind of supplies. You can shop for gifts, pretty baby clothes, home appliances, and even heavy construction materials. The company offers shipping facilities to over 100 countries.

You can effectively track the location of your package and get rest assured. Moreover, just when you begin to fill the cart you get to learn about the estimated time of delivery along with the total amount. Furthermore, discounted deals and packages attract potential buyers. The rates are minimal and the quality of each product is incredible. The company also owns the Delivery Service Partner (DSP) Program that ensures branded vans for order delivery. That’s how the customers stay contended and feel safe investing on the platform.

2. eWorldTrade

eWorldTrade is the fastest growing e-commerce B2B site that serves millions of active users. The platform is integrated with advanced technology that attracts and excites each user. Due to its most effective strategies, unmatched product quality and well-protected payment modes, it has become one of the most recommended platforms over the internet.

The company provides a massive collection of products and services. It offers exotic beauty products along with top-notch quality technical equipment. From dairy products to construction tools, small bolts and screws to heavy machinery.

Furthermore, eWorldTrade operated in over 18 regions offering country-centric portals. Some of the top countries include UAE, South Korea, UK, and Turkey. The strong customer foundation and business module ensure to provide flawless and uninterrupted services.

One of the major distinctive traits of the platform is that it not only supplies products but it offers full-fledged digital marketing services. It can not only assist you in creating your business foundation but can also strengthen its online presence as well.

3. eBay

Battling close to Amazon, eBay is a noteworthy B2B platform. Securing the top position in the B2B marketplace, the company prides in offering amazing quality services. It operates in more than 24 countries among which of them are Belgium, Austria, Italy, Canada, and Ireland.

With a strong strategic approach and fresh theme, the company never fails to attract customers and potential business owners. Generating more than $422M revenues the company has shown a major shift to its revenue generation over the past few years.

It has created an unbeatable patch for the newcomers and has given a tough battle to those already battling the competitive thunder in the digital landscape. The name eBay pops up in the mind just when you plan to buy something online. As interesting as its name sounds so do its delivery services. It offers door-to-door services to customers all around the globe.

With highly discounted pricing and efficient product quality, the company prides to be the top suppliers of goods belonging to a diverse range of industries. The platforms provide a broad collection of products from antique jewelry to collectible stuff. The products are neatly organized that makes the experience wonderful and hassle-free.

You can search each item using a product title or sort of a keyword. The efficient product browser not only provides a filtering facility but suggestions closely related to your query.

4. Alibaba

Alibaba prides itself on being one of the biggest China-based platforms. The e-commerce platform provides an exceptional range of products and services to its valued customers.

A group of influential Chinese entrepreneurs established the platform back in 1999. The company is known for its vast product categories. Each product type is further divided into many of its sub-categories; this makes the site one of the largest e-store. Moreover, with the facility to browse products easily, it attracts buyers who enjoy the e-shopping experience.

The market value of the platforms is $140B whereas its IPO value is recorded to have reached $15B. To avoid any language barriers the company operates in two of the widely used languages: Chinese and English.

Alibaba is a proud name that enables users to indulge in the amusing experience of e-shopping. From secured payment modes to a highly integrated system, the credentials of each customer is kept safe and secured.

5. DHgate

DHgate is a highly professional B2B marketplace that facilities buyers to purchase Chinese goods in bulk amount. The platform has a huge range of products including clothing, gadgets, sports accessories, and decorative items. It supplies over 30 million high-quality products to buyers all around the world.

DHGate has secured a prominent place among the top platforms. It operates according to the international business standards while providing secured payment facilities to customers.

6. ThomasNet

With the foundation based purely on customer needs much like eWorldTrade, ThomasNet is one of the platforms that gains popularity in the early years of establishment. Under the leadership of Tony Uphoff, the president and CEO of the firm, it has been operating for 120 years.

The company focuses on customer demands and strives to offer engaging and potential products. ThomasNet supplies and delivers to more than half a million online users claiming itself to be one of the most prominent B2B platforms.

From technology products to a wide range of various items, this is the perfect platform to spend hours shopping. The company being one of the oldest and successful ones offers more than 650,000 manufacturers and distributors.

ThomasNet has shown great transformation over the years. They have highly experienced and qualified professionals who leave no stone unturned in delivering state-of-art products. With evolution at its peak, the company secures the credentials of its valued customers.

7. Global Sources

From over 47 years, Global Sources is generating huge revenue in the B2B ecommerce business. The company prides to deliver products related to almost every field and industry. It has its reach in over 94 countries thereby delivering the highest quality services to valued customers.

The fact that highlights its achievements is that most of its potential customers have established their businesses and are counted among the 100 top retailers. That’s how the company has opened many new retail channels.

8. Etsy

Etsy has made its patch after years of struggle and hard work. The platform is making gradual progress and is supplying products to customers globally. Its sleek interface and easy to browse products facilitate customers and attract them to indulge in the fascination of e-shopping.

The platform has strict rules and policies and provides a secured gateway to buy or sell products. It offers discounted deals and pricing and provides sellers with a strong foundation to establish their business.

9. EC21

EC21 provides a new avenue to small and medium-sized businesses to establish and prosper their businesses. The company supplies goods and services to customers belonging to every corner of the world.

EC21 ensures immaculate quality and fast delivery of goods. Keeping things well organized and addressing every customer needs are some of the prominent traits of the business.

10. Cratejoy

Cratejoy is a subscription box business that facilitates customers with proficient quality subscription boxes. The platform is reputed for having flawless services catered by diligent employees and professionals.

It offers door-to-door services to businesses and brands. Generating over 3M page view and 30K monthly transaction, it paved its way to the list of top B2B brands.

Gerry Wilson is a tech blogger who holds a background in working for popular IT companies. He is focused towards successful tech development, business growth hacks, and effective marketing strategies for startups. He finds himself interesting in writing for leading tech sites, engaging readers and educating them about the cutting-edge tech developments. Follow @GerryyWilson on twitter for further details.

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7 Ways to Prevent Ecommerce Disputes

a few months ago

Ecommerce merchants are more susceptible to customer disputes than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Because of this, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent disputes from happening.

What are Disputes and Why Should I Prevent Them?

A dispute, also known as a chargeback, is a transaction reversal that is meant to serve as a form of consumer protection. It starts when a cardholder contacts their issuing bank when they believe there is a fraudulent transaction, unfair service, unreceived merchandise, or many other reasons. If the issuing bank finds the claim to be valid, they issue a dispute.

When a merchant receives a dispute the revenue from the transaction gets returned to the cardholder, you lose the merchandise or service provided and get hit with a dispute fee. Then the merchant has the option to respond to the dispute to try and regain the revenue from the transaction. Even if the merchant wins the dispute and gets the money back, you will still have to pay the fee associated with the dispute.

The goal of this process is to protect the cardholders, but some cardholders take advantage of the process. This leads to the merchant receiving invalid customer disputes and unnecessary revenue loss. To protect your hard-earned revenue, customer relationships, and retain your merchant account, it is important to try and prevent disputes from ever happening.

Here are seven tips on how to do just that:

1. Make Sure Your Product Descriptions are Accurate

For physical products sold online, merchants must convey the product as accurately as possible. Doing so is vital, because the product that is viewed online may not meet the customer’s expectation when it arrives. This can lead to a high number of costly product returns. Or even worst, a high number of ‘product not as described’ customer disputes.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. The customer only knows what you have told them about your product. They have never touched, tried on, held, or even truly seen the product until after they completed the transaction and the product is shipped to them. This is why accurate product photos and descriptions are important tools for ecommerce merchants to stop excessive returns and disputes.

2. Set Up Excellent Communication Channels

Communication is a key element in any healthy relationship that helps makes it work. The relationship between the merchant and a customer is no different. When a customer has been trying to reach a merchant about a problem with no response, they can easily turn to the dispute process to solve the problem.

To avoid a frustrated customer turning to the dispute process instead of working through the merchant, it needs to be as easy as possible for the customer to find your contact information. Make your customer service phone number or contact information is obvious on the website, in the footer of emails, and even put it in the merchant descriptor that is on the cardholder’s statement. Anything that will make it easier for the customer to contact you instead of their bank.

3. Easy Returns and Clear Return Policies

Ecommerce shopping is easier and more popular than ever before, but it also means more returns for merchants. As we described about earlier, one challenge that ecommerce merchant face is they don’t get their product physically in front of the customer until after the transaction and shipment of the product. Thereby resulting in a higher amount of returns. The logistics and cost of returns have been an ongoing strain for merchants, but making the return policy more restrictive may not be the answer.

A strict or an unclear return policy that prevents the customer from returning product easily and within the time restraints may increase disputes. When conflicts arise around returns, the customer may feel justified and motivated to get their money back in any way they can. Chargeback fraud is when a customer uses the dispute process to regain the transaction dollar amount while retaining the product or services rendered. Frustrated customers may commit chargeback fraud to get their money back from a rejected return.

4.Fraud Deterrents at Checkout

True fraud is when a stolen card is used and the transaction is disputed by the true cardholder. Merchants are liable to prevent these fraudulent purchase from happening. There are a few easy steps merchants can take to prevent true fraud disputes.

Verify Billing Addresses with AVS

Address Verification Services or AVS is a commonly used fraud prevention tool that matches the billing address given at checkout against the address that the card issuer has on file. Its purpose is to ensure that the person making a purchase is indeed the valid cardholder.

Use CVV to Deter Most Fraudsters

Another common method of ecommerce fraud prevention that merchants can use is to require the card security code at checkout. These will deter fraudsters that only have the credit card number.

Both AVS and CVV requirements are widely used by ecommerce merchants to verify card-not-present transactions and should absolutely be included in the checkout process.

5. Helpful Customer Service

71% of consumers end a business relationship due to poorly designed or non-existent customer service policies. Well trained and responsive customer service can help prevent disputes from happening. If a customer reaches out with a problem and the issue is resolved quickly and amicably, the customer will not look for another way to take of the issue. In the opposite situation, a frustrated customer that had a bad experience with customer service or the customer service is not responsive, they will turn to the dispute process to take care of the problem.

6. Clear Merchant Descriptors

Friendly fraud is when a customer accidentally disputes a charge they actually authorized. This can result from family member making purchases, simple forgetfulness, or unclear merchant descriptors. Merchant descriptors are what’s displayed as the merchant’s name on a cardholder’s statement. Unclear or vague descriptors can cause a cardholder to panic and dispute a transaction thinking it was fraudulent when it is really not.

Merchants should make sure to display the name of the company that the customer will recognize instead of a legal name – such as a parent organization or the name recognized by the IRS. Merchants should also provide a way from the customer to contact them. By having an email address, phone number or URL where they can contact customer service will allow customers to directly contact you and ask questions about the transaction before disputing.

7. Logistics and Shipping

Another challenge that ecommerce merchants face is shipping the product effectively and quickly. With expectation set like Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping, customers have a lessened tolerance for long shipping times. If your product takes too long to ship the customer may think that you never shipped the product to them or they never received the product. This can lead them to file a ‘product or services never received’ dispute.

To prevent this type of dispute make sure you are communicating with your customer through the processing and shipment of their purchase. Allow them to track their package or see the status. It is also helpful if you can provide them with a delivery confirmation to let them know that the package successfully delivered.

Prevent Disputes to Protect Your Bottom Line

When it comes to disputes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So taking steps like those described above to prevent disputes is a smart move to protect your bottom line. For the disputes that do slip through, make sure you have a stockpile of the right chargeback response templates to help you create the most compelling rebuttal possible.

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