Preventing E-Commerce Issues Before They Occur

Unfortunately, E-commerce issues can arise, and  it can lead to an immense amount of frustration. When you’re a business owner, you constantly think about ways you can increase your revenue. Whether your company provides a service or has tangible goods to sell, an E-commerce website is the framework for your efforts to maximize profits. And simply putting a website together with your products and services available for purchase doesn’t guarantee an increase in sales.

There are plenty of issues that can arise within an E-commerce system, though it is the unrecognized problem that tends to cause the most trouble for business owners. At first, they may not even seem like issues, but if left unattended, can bring your company’s daily operations to a halt. Let’s discuss some of these issues, and potential ways to tackle them.

Security Measures

Just like any other website that allows customers to utilize online credit card processing, there is a certain level of hesitation a customer feels when entering their private information online. With all of the horror e-commerce shoppingstories of people having their credit card information stolen, there is still a legitimate fear of the “what if” associated with online payments. That said, how do businesses ensure their customers that they have nothing to fear?

First of all, you need to provide your customers with a set of Terms & Conditions that is extremely clear and to the point. These Terms & Conditions should cover matters such as your return policy, warranties, price changes, and of course, privacy. If you surprise your customers with something after they’ve made their purchase, they certainly won’t be happy to be caught off guard, and might not return to your company in the future. Make sure you cover your basis so you won’t lose customers to a more “trustworthy” site.

Next, take the time to thoroughly analyze your company’s website. Conduct as honest of an assessment as you can; it might be cool to have a high-end website, but it won’t necessarily lead to greater sales. Above all else, make sure you present your company, as well as its goods and services, to your audience in a professional manner. Ultimately, the customer’s first impression matters. You aren’t attempting to solely drive traffic to your site, but you’re also trying to convince customers to enter their credit card information for a purchase. By providing your audience with a neat and easy-to-read website that is also compatible with mobile browsers, you’ll provide your company with the greatest chance to boost its sales.

Payment Issues

In creating your E-commerce website, your goal was to make it as simple as possible for your customers to order the goods and services they need, while making it easier for your company to get paid. However, it takes time to sell new customers on your site and your company. They judge the site’s reliability, the quality of your products and services, and only if they like what they see will they consider placing an order. However, if your checkout process and shopping cart are even remotely difficult to master, you may end up losing sales. Before you have to respond to angry customer emails about their inability to place orders online, or before you have to evaluate why you’re seeing a drop in sales, there are three things you can focus on to ensure your merchant services operate flawlessly.

Start off by drafting up easy-to-follow instructions for your customers to follow to complete an order. You can place this information in a few different locations to make it even easier for your customers to place their orders. Consider placing this information on your website’s home page, as well as every other page where the customer can click to place their order. Whether you’d prefer to create a video to provide a face to your company, or a simple bullet list with each step, make sure you assist your customers as best you can in helping them spend their hard earned cash on your company.

Next, consider signing up for a secondary merchant services account to accept credit card payments. Sure, it may seem unnecessary if your current payment processor is operating flawlessly, but what happens if that processor goes down? If your site is unable to allow customers to complete their transactions, you not only lose that sale, but you run the risk of losing the disgruntled customer to your competition.

Then, evaluate your current confirmation emails you send to each customer who places an online order. If you only send a “Thank you for your order” email, you should seriously reconsider this approach. It’s of grave importance that your company provides its customers with a confirmation, but they also require a good amount of information in this confirmation email. When sending a confirmation email to a customer, you should include a detailed invoice of the order and confirmation of the received payment, along with any shipping information you can provide. This will let your customer know that you received their order, while providing them with peace of mind. Your above and beyond customer service will only leave your customers thinking highly of you, leaving open the possibility for future orders and greater word of mouth marketing opportunities.

Bradley Derringer is a blogger for TechBreach, giving you the latest on all things tech.

Is It Sad That I Had A Dream For A Better Hootsuite

hootsuite worksWhen I woke up this morning I was very sad, because Hootsuite had not created the updates I envisioned in my sleep last night. It almost feels like I was robbed. Stripped of my humanity. The last shreds of dignity flailing in the wind.

Eh! Maybe a bit too melodramatic, but once you see what I dreamed about, you will agree with me that Hootsuite needs an update. As a pro user, I get a number of features from the site, but it can still be better.  Who knows! Maybe this is a germ of  a business idea? Ooh! Watch out Hootsuite!

The HootSuite Of My Mind

First, HootSuite needs to allow bulk updates for images. According to their recent support responses, they do not plan to anytime in the future despite a wall of complaints about this lacking feature. Actually had two clients recently ask me about this feature as well. Found a possible alternative, however in

To help give HootSuite the kick in the pants they need to get this project started vote for pictures to be included: Check out this vote on HootSuite chats, where they have over 150 votes for this feature. However, the voting has been going on for two years now, so it might be time for Hootsuite to follow through on this idea.

Second, the Hootsuite bulk scheduler really sucks. Pardon my French! Or is that a poor excuse for English? Either way, the system is definitely bulkier! I used to use SocialOomph for mass scheduling. Social Oomph was a breeze. You would upload the messages and then create a standard amount of time between each update. The problem with Hootsuite, is that you have to create a CSV file with specific date parameters. This can be time consuming, and negates some of the benefits of a scheduler.

While I do have a quick fix that I will share on Friday for the social networking minute to make this process faster, it is still not a 1-2-3 answer. Part of the reason why you pay for a pro account is to make it easier to use the system. Having to set up the dates in their format on a CSV file is a bit wonky. To go through this idea further, wait for the end of the week (not the end of the world) when I publish my cool thoughts on this subject.

Third, I had a problem with Hootsuite recently, because the bulk uploader was not working properly. The system kept telling me that I could not process updates, and to fix the problem. What was this mysterious problem? I am not sure, because after fooling around with the system for half an hour it finally, magically worked.

I contacted customer service, or their support ticket system. Customer service responded back a week later. These were posts that I needed up that day. Thanks for the quick and efficient help!

Fourth, not to be a mensch, but there is a new social network called Pinterest. Please add them! Also, while we are at it, can you work out an agreement with Google to allow us to post to our personal profiles as well as our page profiles. While I applaud your initiative at putting in Mixi and FourSquare as options, please remember there are amazing social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit that deserve considering as well.

Future of Hootsuite

While I am not sure what the future holds in store for Hootsuite, it is evident the social firm needs to be a bit more social and interact with their user base. They are clearly not in step with their target market. I know this from extensive dreams that I have in the middle of the night, where I envision a Hootsuite that works the way I want it to work.

However, as they say. If this is the worst of your problems in life, then you have it pretty good. So, HootSuite take heart in the fact that you do have a number of cool features on your site. However, we need you to pick up the pace, so my dreams are no match for the extensive library of options you have available for your clients.

Analyzing The Twitter IPO

Following the footstep of Facebook, Twitter IPO announcement for its own social media messaging service is causing waves to online.twitter_logo_header

Is it the right time for them to raise the money? The company’s fortunes are on the upswing. According to eMarketer, Twitter will rake in $583 million in advertising revenue for 2013 and touch $1 billion in 2014. Given the projections, it would take the company nothing to win public trust.  So, the timing simply can’t be better. Recent market performance of Facebook and LinkedIn share show that Twitter has got it right. This year, Facebook’s shares are up more than 60% while professional network LinkedIn has gone up to a staggering 117%.

The next question is: when will the IPO happen? Though it’s tough to answer this question one can only hazard a guess by following what Facebook did. Facebook went public in May 2012 after announcing its IPO filing in February 2012. So Twitter might go public anytime between November and December. But many believe Twitter would botch it up by launching it during holidays. So, the launch may happen anytime early next year.

What about the valuation? This is the toughest question to answer. Going by insider reports, the company was to be purchased at around $14 billion when its worth was $11 billion. This puts the value of its share at $27. But Twitter may choose to price it below that.

Interestingly, Facebook had effectively no mobile ad revenue when it went public. In comparison, Twitter makes more money via mobile apps. So, Twitter starts its innings with an advantage of sorts.

Here are the few reasons according to daily finance on why average investor should not get a thrill for twitter IPO.

  1. 1.  We have seen in the past most of the IPO which creates a lot of hype have always dissatisfied the market and average investors. So till the time Twitter comes with good facts, it’s risky.
  1. 2.   Well if you are a regular news reader you must have read a lot about companies uses IPO as a good alternative to raise capital from the market. And many had already shown losses after the listing, thus we should first wait and watch the market and what twitter brings new to avoid such news.

Share with us your views on Twitter IPO.

Bio: Sandra Bullock is working as Editor in Chief for (FNI). Writing on Financial Topics is her passion. FNI is a great Community for financial bloggers and writers.


MeetWP Online Networking. Guest Speaker: Mika Epstein

Guess what? New MeetWP event today at noon. Awesome details below about how Mika can hack into your WordPress site.

Free event link to participate in MeetWP:

Why would you not want to join us? Do you think I am funny? Do I amuse you? Join us or face the wrath of Joe Pesci!

MeetWP Event Details:

Who: Speaker-Mika Epstein and MeetWP team

What: MeetWP Bi-weekly online networking meetup

When: Today, 9-10-13 at Noon

Where: MeetWP.Me

How: Go To The URL Bar and type in MeetWP.Me

Why: Because you want to network with WordPress enthusiasts around the world, and watch Mika hack into a site live on the show.


Remember to click play on video if it does not auto-start, so you can see what is going on.

Mika Epstein will be the guest speaker at the next MeetWP networking event coming up on September 10th at 12 PM CST. Connect with Mika at:

She will be discussing troubleshooting hacked sites. During the presentation, she will actually hack a site to show you what not to do with your WordPress security. Important for everyone to hear (and see).

Also stay on top of MeetWP news on our Google+ community:

Increase Earnings for Whatever You Sell with the Tips in this Video

Use the Tips In This VideotoIncreaseYour Own Earnings and TrafficUntil Brad Campbell contacted me, I had never personally met anyone who was making five figures a month and six figures a year in online marketing. I had published a guest post for him in the past, so when he started making really good money he asked if I would work with him to increase it from $35,000 a month to $100,000 a month. That is his goal.

I finally had found someone who was making six
figures a year doing affiliate marketing online.

Increase Earnings

I asked Andy to let me (Gail Gardner of the PR5 blog share this video with you because what Brad explains will work for you no matter what you want to rank for and especially if you want to make money online. While it mentions Empower Network, it is not specifically about it so much as it is how Brad makes more money than anyone else I have personally run across. Use it to increase your own earnings.

If you can’t see the video below, go to

I hope you can see how these tips will increase your traffic and income no matter what you’re focusing on. They’ll help you know what to blog about and what to sell online.

Personally, I consider Brad the single sharpest person I’ve run into when it comes to online marketing. I want to know more about what he knows so I’m checking out his other content. I’ve watched dozens of his videos and the one in this post is the short-cut to how to rank your content so you drive the most traffic so you can make the most money.

Whether you are interested in Empower Network or not, Brad is the real deal –
the rare guy who is making real money – money that you can
live on or even make your dreams come true.

Most people, including Andy, are skeptical of Empower Network. I was, too.The huge earnings from EN are why Brad is focusing on it. He hired me and a couple of other people I recommended – all to maximize income now while he is ranking strong and Empower Network is taking off. They are coming out with a new version that is likely to get people currently sitting on the fence into EN.

People who have known me for years know I would NEVER recommend something I felt was unethical. I have written two posts with details about why I feel that even though the way David Wood and many others present Empower Network it SEEMS scammy and “too good to be true”, I have personally started going through their training and find it very good.

I would recommend it to anyone because it is SIMPLE and very clear about what to focus on and why. And what Brad shares about how what he is doing is even better than what they teach you can get from his free videos. You don’t have to join. You don’t have to pay anything to learn what he is doing that makes him six figures already.

If you want to know more, check out the post that video is in: What Should Empower Network Bloggers Actually Blog About To Make Money? or read these other posts I’ve written that explain why I – as probably the biggest stickler for ethics any blogger knows – decided Brad was right:

If you want to make real money, you owe it to yourself to look at what Brad advises. It’s free, so just do it now. It could change your life – IF you apply it.

Social Networking Minute: Facebook Friends Lists

This weeks social networking minute is all about culling your Facebook friends lists. If you do not have Facebook friends lists then check out our Facebook Basics discussion where we talk about staying in touch with Facebook friends. For right now, however, let us return to the subject of culling our Facebook Friends list.

I think I have discussed this in the distant past, but the reality is that when I first started on Facebook I connected with everyone who sent me a request. That is fine when you are starting out, but once you have enough friends on Facebook you want to have space for people who actually do impact your business. For that reason, I started removing people who were not communicating with me. Conversely, people I thought were just not a good fit for me got removed as well.

The easiest way for me to do this was through Facebook friends. Below is a sample of how I go through my Facebook friends list and remove people that I do not want to talk with, or start up conversations with people that I have not spoken to in a little while.

Social Networking Minute: Facebook Friends List Walk-through

Let me know if you have any questions below in the comments about using Facebook friends lists to improve your prowess on this social network.

This concludes your weekly social networking minute on your Facebook Friends Lists.


La Shana Tova

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy and sweet New Year!

la shana tova

What Your Childhood Says About Your Business Sense

Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil! is the story of two children, a daughter and son, of an oil millionaire. It is a study in character, and in that respect there is something else fascinating about it. Written in 1927, during a time when worker’s rights were barely beginning to gain steam, the book explores the second born son’s growing obsession with social justice. The first born is largely concerned with using her father’s money to build the business and maintain her status. Yet both retain aspirations to make it on their own.

This observation is not new, it’s actually well documented that you are more likely to start a company when you are the first born. It’s also totally in character for the second born to be more concerned with human rights and to pursue more unorthodox efforts. The question is what chances the second born children have of starting their own companies, and whether upbringing can affect that.

Birth Order

Wooden blocks on newborn babyBloomberg suggests that first-born business owners are likely to be more extroverted and confident than their younger siblings. First-borne are also more dominant in their actions and tend to enact plans that they follow through on. The down side is that they are also more susceptible to the fear of losing their status.

As for second-born children, their ideas tend to embrace a more creative side. Jobs that focus on relationship building, creative pursuits and public outreach tend to go to second born children. So while a first born may be more analytical, the second born is capable of forming lasting relationships better.

Fortunately, birth order doesn’t seem to affect your ability to raise money, that tends to fluctuate by person and location.

Parental Lessons

Financial lessons from your parents directly affect you as an entrepreneur, regardless of what order you were born. If your parents owned their own business, you are more likely to pursue your own career and work for yourself. Robert J Findlay, a leading business development professional, notes: “If you are trying to teach your child that success requires hard work, you should model this lesson in your own endeavors.”

Like father like son doesn’t stop there, females show an even higher likelihood of starting their own companies when they have mothers who work for themselves. Practice good money management with your children and teach them as they grow. Trying to bombard a preschooler with advanced retirement planning will largely confuse him; wait until he begins to work with more complicated numbers.

Prepare real life examples that children can change, like spreadsheet formulas where kids can alter the numbers or budget apps on an iPad that show color-coded spending habits.

Education Matters

Higher education affects your likelihood of founding a company, but nottext lead learn in the way you think it would. Entrepreneurs tend to make a choice about their future and it happens right around 25. At that point, with a bachelor’s degree, many opt to start their own company. Some of those degree holders will also work in the marketplace for a while, when they can find jobs, then return when they hit 30 to start their own company. That group joins the well-educated bunch who also tend to wait until their 30’s to start companies.

Science and engineering degrees were the most popular amongst start up founders in a Tech Crunch survey. Founders are also more likely to volunteer, take AP classes and skip grades.

If you’re not a first born, don’t fret. Parents who invest in their children, nurture strong study habits and good discipline raise hard working adults. Don’t be afraid of being creative and let someone else handle the rigid work, one of an entrepreneur’s great strengths is learning to utilize one’s assets.

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