December 1, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 6 Comments
Snap Engage – Best Live Help Software?
Snap Engage is yet another online service offering live help/live support solution for small online businesses, mostly online shops or websites selling some sort of service. I have seen dozens of such Live Support software programs coming out recently and that only confirms that Live Support is here to stay!
Even more – I believe that in this day and age you simply can’t be online WITHOUT offering Live Support to your customers. People are OVER with the whole anonymity shopping thing and now demand real people, real support behind online shops! If you’re an online shop owner and not offering Live Support during business hours, you’re leaving money on the table – as simple as that.
There was an interesting discussion about Live Chat support on TWF and most people agreed that the more support options you can offer on your website, the better. Some people may feel that phone is the only way they communicate with online sellers while others will be too shy or simply live abroad and will never pick up the phone to make that call. One way or other, live chat is a great way to get closer to your customers, wherever they’re in the World!
So I decided to test Snap Engage Live Support Software and let you know my thoughts about it. First of all, they have a really good looking, attractive website which was the reason why I took a closer look at them in first place. Secondly, they offer free trial WITHOUT submitting any credit card details! WOW! That’s what I call smart marketing! Sign-up process was very simply and in just 30 seconds I was in the admin panel. Most companies offering free trials will still ask you to submit credit card or PayPal details and charge after X days unless you cancel. With Snap Engage you don’t have to worry about this – use your 2 weeks of free trial period and if you want, upgrade to full/paid account.
Being a Live Support software company, Snap Engage teaches what they preach – they have online support agents online at any time! Well done! (more…)
November 9, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments
How to Handle Black Friday’s Orders?
Wow, it’s already November and Christmas is right around the corner!
Before we start gift wrapping up our Christmas orders, another important day of the year is coming along – Black Friday (this year it’s on 25th November). If you don’t know what Black Friday means to online retailers, check out Black Friday’s page on Wikipedia. Obviously, this is more important for people selling to the US market BUT I believe that anyone can learn a thing or two from year’s hottest online shopping day.
For us, online retailers, it’s important that we’re well prepared for Black Friday and can handle un-expected, large volume of orders. I can’t imagine a bigger disaster than to see customers who want to buy something from you but you can’t serve them for one or another reason! So let’s get started and prepare our online shops for Black Friday’s & Christmas shopping madness!
As an example, I can use one of my online shops – recently, we got some un-expected media coverage and from usual 10 orders a day, we went to 80+ orders, in a matter of few hours time. This is how it looked in real time:
Now, we were totally prepared for this so it didn’t cause any problems for us That’s why I want to share with you a list of things that you should implement in your online business to be ready for such large number of un-expected orders. It can happen to any of you – someone could mention your online shop in a blog or your press release could get featured in Yahoo News or Google News. If you’re not ready for this, your reputation can suffer greatly and you can waste great, FREE marketing campaign! (more…)
November 3, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 29 Comments
Fulfilment Houses: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!
After last week’s post about how to start from scratch, I’m back with a new and quite lengthy post about fulfilment houses – something every online shop owner should consider using (if it’s suitable for the business model of course).
Just what exactly are fulfilment houses?
Fulfilment houses such as Shipwire and Amazon Fulfilment Web Service are third party services that take care of fulfilling client orders on the business owner’s behalf. Fulfilment houses take charge of receiving the products from the supplier, housing the said inventory, receiving the orders from the business owner’s clients, and packaging and shipping said orders to the latter.
And depending upon the agreement between the business owner and the fulfilment house, the latter can very well take care of processing payments and the after-sale support such as handling customer complaints and accepting, even re-stocking, of undamaged return items as well.
Fulfilment houses certainly offer a lot of advantages for the small business owner: (more…)
October 26, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 6 Comments
It’s NEVER Too Late! (I messed it all up AGAIN)
People make mistakes. I’m not an exception and this is THE DAY again I’ll admit from the bottom of my heart – I have made a mistake, literary – messed it all up! (this is not my first time either, lol)
It all started with the brand new TheWholesaleForums skin saga – the whole thing just reminded me how several years ago I invested more than £10k in a project that miserably failed. I lost my money just like that. It was an online website/service AND it was all my fault because I didn’t conduct a proper market research prior started working on the project.
Surely, with today’s experience I would never even started that website but back then I simply thought something will work as expected because I want it to work. because I thought that’s how it should work. In a word – I WANTED to believe it’s going to work, without any proper market research, surveys, testing etc.
But guess what? I didn’t spent months on that project, spending even more money or wasting more time – I just accepted the loss and moved on. I saw that the whole idea, concept is wrong and won’t work – and it won’t change because of my good intentions or plans I had lined up.
Did I gave up? NO! I faced reality and moved on. And that’s something I really believe in – sometimes in life it’s better to accept loss and just move on. Sometimes quick fixes doesn’t work. Sometimes you just have to let things go. Be it a business, website, relationship or a badly started craft project.
So, today I realized that my whole information websites BLOG concept doesn’t work. At least it doesn’t work as good as it should, as good as I was intended it to work in first place. I’m talking about LACK OF FOCUS! Do you know how many blogs I currently own?
12… maybe even more, I can’t even remember all of them. Some I haven’t updated for months. Some – have old skins, some – haven’t been moderated etc. etc. In a word – it’s a TOTAL MESS and it can’t continue like that. I have very limited time each day to spend on this stuff and if I have to divide my attention to 12 blogs, several newsletters, video newsletters, multiple forums etc., it simply can’t work.
Take a look at this list:
Now, these are the best looking blogs and websites I’m not ashamed of showing you (yes, there are more!). In addition – I also have EAB video newsletter, Chat With Andrew Q&A sessions, CWA videos, eCommerce Magnates video newsletter and what not! BRRRRRRRRRR – it’s scaring s**t out of me!
And then there’s YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Linked, Google+ (I haven’t even started to use, SHAME ON ME!). It’s simply too much. No one can manage so many different blogs and online diaries with a punctual regularity, while bringing best possible content out there for you – my loyal subscriber & blog reader!
So I have made a decision – I will publish all content – newsletters, articles, videos, tests etc. on just one website – and it will be this, AndrewMinalto.com blog. From now on, I’ll leave all other blogs alone, probably put a re-direct to this blog so that new people can found me easier.
It’s not only a decision about cutting on platforms I use to communicate with people, it’s also a re-branding for my whole info products business model AND the only way to publish higher quality content, on a regular basis in future. That was actually my MAIN REASON why I’m doing all this – I want to publish high quality, useful content but I can’t do it in 10 places simultaneously.
I’m NOT closing or discontinuing any products or websites in my network, not at all!
This all re-vamp is based around all the blogs I have, not websites and products. It’s totally cool that I have a separate website for each product or service, they work totally ok. Blogs are giving me major headache and the way I communicate with you, hence this consolidation.
Yes, I have lost time, money and resources by “diluting” my efforts across so many blogs BUT as I said – I’m ready to take that loss, change direction and look forward to a brighter future! In up-coming weeks I’ll upgrade this blog with some nice community plugins so that you can make most out of it and basically will concentrate my content creation efforts on this ONE blog! Let’s see how it all turns out in a year or two.
If you have any comments at all – feel free to post them below this post – I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about this whole situation! (I’m sure, many of you can relate to this somehow). By the way – my yearly subscriber survey is coming up soon with great prizes – so stay tuned by subscribing to RSS feed or follow me on Twitter!
For The Brighter Future!
August 25, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments
How To Choose a Good Shopping Cart?
With shopping carts it really is – You Get What You Pay For.
Free or open source shopping carts will never offer you range of tools and features more sophisticated, hosted solutions offer for a reasonable monthly fee. Even then, how to know, which cart is best for your situation?
What you expect a shopping cart will do for you? This will be a unique list, based on your business specifics, size, location etc. There are hundreds of functions to think about. However, I believe these 13 are crucial to ANY online shop:
In this month’s eCommerce Magnates video newsletter I undercover 13, must have shopping cart features! Yes, there should be 23 or even 33 but we have to start somewhere, right? If your shopping cart lacks any of these 13, you should seriously consider alternative shopping carts.
Enjoy your Bank Holiday Weekend!!!
August 9, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments
Twitter & eBay Business – How To?
Twitter. Twitter. Twitter.
Everyone talks about it, many have heard about it, only few use it’s full potential.
Most people have simplified Twitter for business use and that’s the biggest failure – you can’t expect for it to work by simply tweeting about your sales offers or special promotions. Well, you can do that but don’t expect huge response. Unless you’re running a coupon site or Daily Deal site of course.
Twitter, just like Facebook is a COMMUNITY and that’s how you want to treat it. In this week’s ChatWithAndrew.com Q&A session, I have put together 8 Golden Rules to Follow when promoting your eBay business:
Enjoy & Tweet!
July 21, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments
Your Best Friend & Your Worst Enemy – HOSTING!
As long as you’re not noticing hosting, you’re with a good provider!
That would be the single, best describing phrase of a good quality, reliable hosting company. And it’s true – we do not actually feel how good or bad hosting service is as long as it runs smoothly. Problems arrive when your website is down for several hours of even DAYS, as it happened to me few years ago.
In today’s E-Commerce Magnates video newsletter #2 I cover exact tips & strategies you should follow to choose a good hosting company for your online business:
- Web hosting overview
- Hosted Shopping Carts
- Reliable hosting companies
This article covers all the basics you need to know when choosing a hosting company & hosting service package for your online shop.
As usual, a 10 minute video is included as well.
Enjoy The Summer!
July 4, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments
How to Make Money on eBay with £20?
Everyone wants to make loads of money. Everyone.
But very few people actually have what it takes to make kind of money they’re dreaming about. Usually it’s lack of knowledge, lack of experience and lack of working capital. Yes, somehow, most people associate term “online business” with “low entry level business” which very often is a true assumption by the way. These days you can start making money online literary in minutes, using sites like Fiverr.com as an example.
But here’s the thing with selling physical goods online – you have to have appropriate buying power to succeed. And this is something many newbies do not realize wasting years on chasing unreal wholesale deals.
Just like Ciaran in today’s CWA post, there’s nothing wrong with starting your very own eBay business, even if you have just 20 quid to invest. Just make sure you choose the right strategy!
Read more on How to Start an eBay Business with £20.
June 15, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments
E-Commerce Magnates Video Newsletter #1
Today is the day when my brand new video newsletter goes LIVE! 🙂
E-Commerce magnates video course is still in pre-production stage but while you’re waiting for official release in November, later on this year, each month I’ll publish a monthly video covering topics like:
- Shopping Carts
- Product Sourcing & Wholesale
- Niche Research
- Search Engine Optimization
- Traffic Generation
- Conversion rates
- Marketing Tactics
- Social Marketing
- And Many More!
In Video #1, I share my Top 10 rules to follow when you register a domain name.
January 17, 2011 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments
Happy New Year Everyone!
I know it’s totally belated but anyway – Happy New Year Everyone! I wish you all the best in year 2011 – make it even better than last one! More sales, more profits & success in both business and personal life!
I have been off for the last few weeks because of my operation (long story) but slowly starting to recover now. A few weeks bed time and I’ll be alright!
So – what’s going on with EAB, SIG, 60DBP and other websites?
SecondIncomeGenerator.com – since last week, the course is back on sale again. I have reserved further 50 copies so if you’re interested in making some extra cash online WITHOUT selling physical products, check it out!
60DayBlueprint.com – my best selling personal coaching program re-opens next week, on 27th January @ 8PM UK time. I’ll be taking only 3 people on board so make sure you’re online when website re-opens. Both eBay & E-commerce programs are available.
https://andrewminalto.com – I have finally finished work on the 2011 Update for the course! More than 80 minutes of extra tips & tricks, updated information added to the course. As always, all current members had a chance to receive the update for free.
That’s it for now – Thanks for reading & I’ll see you soon!