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Here's How You Can Win a Trip to Richard Branson's Private Island Courtesy of Tim Ferriss

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It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the sign-up period of this year’s annual Build A Business Competition.

This year, we’re seeing more businesses than ever launch online stores and compete to sell as much as they can during the competition period. Perhaps it’s because they know they’re in the running to win a five-day trip to Richard Branson’s private island. Perhaps it’s because they know there has never been a better time to launch an online business.

But we’ve got some news that will throw this year’s competition into high gear. We’re doing something we’ve never done before.

 

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3 Ecommerce Trends You Need to Know for a Profitable 2015

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Yesterday we published our annual Year in Review. It’s a look back at the state of the commerce industry and the growth of the Shopify ecosystem and platform.

Because Shopify now powers 140,000+ businesses, this data provides good insight into where ecommerce trends as a whole appear to be headed, and can help you prepare for 2015 and beyond.

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A 5-Step Plan to Updating and Optimizing Your Online Store

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Many times with the day-to-day hustle of running your online business, you end up cutting corners. Compounded over months (or years), things like outdated information, unoptimized product pages, missing SEO meta data and old (still active) coupon codes becomes serious problems causing lost traffic, revenue and sales opportunities.

Much like an annual physical checkup with your doctor, an online store checkup is meant to address these deficiencies as well as identify other potential issues before they become a problem. 

In this post, you’re going to learn an easy 5-step plan to get your store updated and in tip-top shape. 

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5 Brand Strategies to Uniquely Position Your Ecommerce Business Above the Competition

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You need something to help a runny nose, so you ask someone to pass you the Kleenex.  Why? Because of an extremely effective brand strategy.

And yes, that’s actually the brand name and not the name of the product they sell.

With brand loyalty on the decline for the third straight year, building a strong customer base is more important than ever before.

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The Real "Secret" to Launching a Successful Store to Thousands of Excited Customers

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The majority of online stores fold because they’re unable to drive traffic.

For many starting ecommerce founders, there’s a near single-minded focus when starting store is almost entirely dedicated to finding and showcasing the right products.

What they don't realize, is they're killing their chances of success right from the very beginning

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Alibaba 101: How to Safely Source Products from the World's Biggest Supplier Directory

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In order to start an online business, you need two things, a product idea and supply. If you already have your product idea the next step is finding the perfect supplier. In our global village, it has never been easier to find a manufacturing or wholesaling partner halfway around the world, however sourcing your products from overseas can still seem like a daunting task for new online entrepreneurs.

In today’s post, we’re going to look at how to effectively and safely source a supplier for your product idea using the popular business directory Alibaba. We'll introduce you to the pros and cons of going overseas and show you how to navigate this new terrain so you can lock onto the perfect supplier for your product idea and get started selling online.

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How to Identify and Cash in on Consumer Trends (and 3 Products Trending Right Now)

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If you can identify an upwards consumer trend, you can build a highly profitable business around it.

Consumer trends are determined by the habits or behaviors currently popular among consumers.

Data is often collected on these trends that includes information like how a consumer uses a product, and how they communicate about a brand with their social groups.

In this post, we’ll go over a upcoming consumer trend, as well as identify three product opportunities and how you can build a profitable business piggybacking on their popularity.

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How to Create Beautiful (and Persuasive) Hero Images for Your Online Store

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Most online stores and theme templates have one major component in common, a large, featured image or series of images prominently displayed on the homepage.

These images are often referred to as hero, banner or carousel images. No matter what you call them, they’re the same and serve a very important role for online businesses. 

In this post we’re going to look at the importance of hero images, introduce you to some best practices for using them as well as provide some incredible tools and graphic resources to help you create beautiful and persuasive hero images for your online store.

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