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

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

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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Should You be Charging Sales Tax on Your Online Store?

Note: This post applies to U.S. based merchants only. 

Nearly every U.S.-based product seller is going to have a sales tax due date in January. Some sellers have to file sales tax often and have the whole sales tax thing licked. But many only have to file sales tax once per year. For those sellers, January and it’s many sales tax due dates can be a cold and unwelcome wake up call after the fun and profitable holiday season.

But never fear, the sales tax compliance process can be broken down into five manageable steps. Start here and you’ll be sales tax compliant in no time.

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The Top 10 Articles on the Shopify Blog in 2014

Here on the Shopify blog, our goal is to help aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs find a product to sell, and help existing merchants build long-term, successful businesses.

To achieve that, we create high-quality, free content around a range of topics that cover everything from coming up with product ideas, to building and designing your store, and of course generating traffic and sales.

This year we created almost 200 blog posts and we’ve gone through them all to pull out the 10 most popular articles for you below.

Enjoy.

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How to Use Social Proof to Influence Visitors and Increase Your Sales

It’s a cold evening on the town, and you’re looking for a place to grab a bite to eat.  You come across two restaurants - one is close to full, the other is almost empty.

Which one do you choose?

Chances are you’ll go to the one that’s close to full.

That’s social proof.  It’s a psychological phenomenon where we look to the opinions of others and additional "signals" to help us make decisions. It’s also a powerful persuasion tool you can use in your business to influence potential customers who are trying to make a buying decision.

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7 Conversion Rate Optimization Experts Answer the Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

2014 was the year “Conversion Rate Optimization” became the new “social media marketing.”

Hype riding marketers published story after story about how these “tiny little tweaks” were producing enormous gains, and it got you fantasizing about double and triple digit percentage increases.

Maybe you dipped your toe in and experimented with some of the “tips & tricks” only to be disappointed, wondering why you ever wasted your time.

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How To Find A Product To Sell Online: The Definitive Guide

There's never been a better time to create an online store. It's easier and cheaper than ever to get started and sell to people all over the world. However, the biggest hurdle to starting your own store has always been finding and choosing the right product to sell.

We know this can be a bit of a challenging step for new entrepreneurs. This guide gives you an easy-to-follow framework for finding, evaluating and validating product ideas that you can build a profitable online business around.

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Dropshipping 101: How to Start an Ecommerce Business (Even If You Don't Have a Product)

So, you've been thinking about starting an online store for a while now. It's a great idea. The barrier to entry has never been lower and with the technology available, you can easily build a beautiful ecommerce website.

But you're still a bit hesitant. Sure, you can create a sleek website, but what about the money you'll have to invest in product? At the end of the day, it's still your hard earned cash.

But what if it doesn't have to be? What if someone offered to pay your up front inventory costs on thousands of items? What if they even offered to manage all your shipping and fulfillment operations, so you could focus on other areas of the business? 

Now, this may sound a bit far fetched. But it wouldn't if you knew about drop shipping.

In this video, I'm going to explain exactly how drop shipping works, show you how to find drop shippers for your products, and give solutions to some common problems associated with drop shipping.

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10 Retail Experts Share Their #1 Tip for Marketing and Growing Your Store

As a small business owner with a brick-and-mortar store, it can be easy to hit a slump and feel frustrated when sales are down or when you're just not getting enough foot traffic. 

It's time like these when you'd like to be able to consult with an expert and get help turning your store around. Even if it's just for a single piece of advice that you can put into action right away. Luckily for you, in this post, I've collected ten pieces of advice for that exact purpose.

Below you'll find ten takeaways from some of the most renowned names in retail, marketing, and branding, all neatly packed for your consumption in this post. These experts were kind enough to answer my question: 

"What's the #1 thing that retailers can do to better market their brick-and-mortar store?" 

The tips and insights contained in their answers listed below pack a lot of punch but will only work if you pick one and decide to put it into action. 

Let's dive right in. 

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7 Effective Ecommerce Product Pages: How to Turn Visitors into Customers

First impressions are everything.  Many store owners spend time tweaking their homepage, but often forget about the importance of a well designed product page.

Choosing an appropriate way to showcase your products is essential, as it can drive users to continue to checkout, or click away from your store.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the most excellent examples of product pages, why they’re effective, and how you can replicate them for your store.

Let’s get started.

 

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