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Looking to launch an ecommerce business but don't know where to start? Learn how four entrepreneurs went from concept to creating profitable online businesses. Inside these free PDF case studies you'll discover:

  • How to find a product to sell
  • How to strategically approach shipping and fulfillment
  • How to get more traffic and sales for your ecommerce website

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Why Every Ecommerce Business Needs a Blog (And 9 Ideas to Get You Started)

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You want traffic to your site. Blogging generates traffic for your site. Everybody understands the first part, but surprisingly few businesses grasp the second part.

It’s tempting to give in to the idea that the only way to generate sales is engaging in direct sales. Handling inventory, nurturing your email list, and calling to make potential customers will only go so far past a certain point. If you’re spending all your time trying to convert customers, then you’ll soon be neglecting reasons for customers to discover your business in the first place.

Blogging is a great way to build your audience and generate more traffic and sales for your business. You shouldn’t treat it as an unnecessary luxury. Even infrequent posts can help your business.

How?

Having more blog posts drives traffic to your site because it improves SEO; it lets you tell stories that convert visitors into customers; and it increases the chances of engagement, not just on social media but also on traditional media. You might increase the chances of being covered by a news site, which are usually seen as more credible sources of opinion. And besides, all that stuff you hear about content marketing? For most businesses, that means keeping a good blog.

If you need some inspiration, this post features examples of three small businesses that run excellent blogs. Stay with us as we explain how a blog helps your business, and to see the examples of stores that get it.

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Shopify Card Reader Now Available in Canada

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Today we’re happy to announce the launch of the Shopify card reader in Canada.

The Shopify card reader is a free device that allows merchants to accept credit card payments on the go using the Shopify Mobile iPhone app, or in-store using Shopify POS, our iPad-based point of sale system.

Merchants can accept all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express all at one simple rate based on your Shopify plan.

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What To Sell Online: 10 Interesting Product Ideas Trending Right Now

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With thousands of products available to sell online, narrowing one down can be overwhelming. Recently, we learned eight strategies for finding your first product and in our last post we discovered ten places entrepreneurs go to find product ideas.

Since then, we've gone through all of those resources ourselves and have selected ten products – one product from each resource category that looked interesting and is currently trending on Google.

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Creative Ways To Improve Ecommerce Customer Experience (That Also Boost Loyalty And Sales)

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In the perpetual struggle of battling the bear that is Amazon.com, small online shops find success with a) a unique product, and b) a memorable customer experience.

If you've already set up your online store, you've likely checked off #1. Now, how do you improve the customer experience for an online store?

It's easy to imagine changes for a brick-and-mortar operation: I think many of us have had that fantasy of running a super hip coffee nook (or whatever else) that takes care of customers like nobodies business.

While the in-person element may be absent, there are ways to improve your customer experience online by adding that little something extra to the right channels.

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25 Retail Blogs Every Small Business Entrepreneur Should Be Reading

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Small and boutique retailers have their work cut out for them when it comes to staying in business. There's a lot they need to know, and a lot that they need to take action on. Whether it's the latest trends in omni-channel retail, engaging their most loyal customers over social media, or understanding the way technology and mobile are revolutionizing how they accept payments. 

Which is why I've taken the liberty of assembling the top 25 blogs that every small retailer needs to read and subscribe to if they want to stay ahead of the curve and thrive when it comes to selling in person. Whether you prefer to add these to your feedly account or just do it the good old fashion way and bookmark them for future reading, I hope you find them to be an invaluable resource for helping you stay in touch with what's happening and what you need to know to successfully target, acquire, and convert customers for your store.

Here we go: 

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The Malcolm Gladwell Guide to Starting a Business: Lessons From Impressionists, IKEA, and Goldman Sachs

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Malcolm Gladwell’s most recent book is called David and Goliath, published last October.

It features the roundup of interesting stories and psychology research that we’ve come to expect from Gladwell. David and Goliath gives plenty of examples of how qualities we perceive as strengths may actually be vulnerabilities, and vice versa.

Though Gladwell rarely gives concrete advice for running a business, his books are often categorized as Business books. But even if you can’t really use his books to understand how to calculate discounted cash flows or how to register for incorporation, you can use his books to think about operations at a high level.

And so if The Tipping Point can be used as a business strategy guide, David and Goliath might be used as a guide to figure out the type of business you want to start.

Gladwell writes about a dozen stories in David and Goliath around a theme of “deceptive strengths.” We pick out three of these stories because we think that they’re particularly useful for learning about the type of entrepreneur you can and want to be.

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How to Successfully Close the Deal on Your First Pop-Up Location

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Hopefully by now you’ve started to think more seriously about doing a pop-up and have been inspired by the many types of locations you can pick from, the number of reasons why you should consider doing one, and the fact that it’s a trend that’s not going away.

So, what’s next? 

In this post, we’ll look at some of the practicalities around doing a pop-up and outline some next steps to help turn your quest to give physical retail a shot into a reality. In fact, hunting for pop-up space is really like looking for any other new space, you need only think back to the last time you were looking for an apartment or house and add a few commercial goals into the mix.  

Let’s say you’ve got a good handle of what your goals are for doing a pop-up and know how long you want to do one for, maybe you already have a checklist of things to look for while scouting locations. We’re going to even assume that you’ve done some searching and narrowed down your options to 2-3 locations and are in the process of contacting property owners or the commercial real-estate agent.

Here are the questions you need to ask before you make up your mind and some things to watch out for.

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The 10 Best Places Ecommerce Entrepreneurs Go To Find Product Ideas

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Coming up with a great idea for a product to sell online will occasionally strike when you least expect it. Many times though, it’s something you need to be proactively on the lookout for. The internet contains a wealth of ideas and inspiration, but as a new entrepreneur, where do you begin? Aimlessly searching online will only get you so far so we have compiled a list of the best resources to give you direction and get you started.

 

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How to Build an Email List that Builds Your Ecommerce Business

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Picture your website traffic as a big funnel.

At the top of the funnel is all of the raw traffic that comes to your site. The next level down in the funnel is narrower, and these are only those visitors who've interacted with your brand in some way (e.g., by reading your blog, following you on social media, or giving you their email address). The bottom level of the funnel, and the smallest, includes those people who've taken the plunge from interacting with your brand to making a purchase.

Convincing someone to give you their email address is much easier than convincing them to buy something, since it doesn't cost anything except the ten seconds it takes to sign up. Once you have someone's email though, you have the opportunity to follow up with them over time and eventually move them from the middle of your funnel to the bottom where they become a customer.

But how can you get that traffic into your funnel and convince people to give you their email address? And then how can you effectively build a relationship with them until they remember you, want your product, and pull out their credit cards?

Let’s dive into some strategies to first build up an email list and then effectively market to it.

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What Happens When 3 Friends Work to Make the Perfect Custom Shirt and Bring Manufacturing Back to America

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Upon graduation, Michael Armenta, Barrett Purdum and Michael Maher wanted to start a business. They wanted to be part of the resurgence in American manufacturing and they wanted to create a fitted custom shirt.

After recognizing that custom tailoring was primarily the domain of 60 year old wealthy men walking around with a noticeable belly, they saw a market opportunity for a slimmer, tailored, button up shirt for those who cared about the quality and design of their clothes, and where they were manufactured. 

Fast forward to them striking a partnership with a family business in America that manufactures custom shirts and you get the origin story of Taylor Stitch. A rapidly growing brand that now has multiple product lines and is on a mission to dominate both the online and physical retail arenas.

They opened for business online on Shopify in 2008, then added a retail location a year and half later which now also runs on Shopify POS

I had a chance to catch up with Michael to talk about how they did it and what advice he could offer to others looking to do the same.  

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