May 18, 2019

Learn to Listen to the Voices of your Customers at this Chicago Event

Consumers change the companies they do business with for a host of reasons. This is why listening to what they say can help you avoid their departure.

Drew Neisser, founder and CEO of Renegade, said on Forbes, “Listen Like Your Life Depends On It (Because it Does).”

Applied Marketing Science (AMS) is holding a training workshop titled, “Listening to the Voice of the Customer” to help you do just that. The act of listening to your customers sounds easy enough, but it is what you do with this information which is critically important.

In the workshop, AMS will introduce you to Voice of the Customer (VOC) market research and teach you how you can use the data to accelerate the innovation of your business.

You will be exposed to hands-on activities and practice exercises to use the applications of these techniques in machine learning and journey mapping.

The workshop will take place on October 16-17, 2019 at the University Club of Chicago.

Enter Discount Code SMALLBIZ and you can get $100 off the course registration price.

Register by clicking the red button.

Register Now



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Maturepreneur Today Virtual SummitMaturepreneur Today Virtual Summit
June 11, 2019, Online

Maturepreneur Today is holding its full day virtual event on June 11, 2019. The summit is for new, existing and budding entrepreneurs in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Visit our website to view the entire list of renowned speakers. #MaturepreneurToday


Listening to the Voice of the Customer Listening to the Voice of the Customer
October 16, 2019, Chicago, Ill.

Led by veteran product development and market research experts, this course will introduce Voice of the Customer (VOC) market research and teach you to use it to accelerate innovation in business-to-business markets. The workshop uses a lively, interactive format with numerous hands-on activities and practice exercises to build skills and will also expose you to the latest applications of these techniques in areas such as machine learning and journey mapping.
Discount Code
SMALLBIZ ($100 Off)


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Learn to Listen to the Voices of your Customers at this Chicago Event" was first published on Small Business Trends

May 18, 2019

10 Expert Tips for Making the Most of Your Limited Small Business Resources

Small business owners have to find ways to make maximum impact with limited resources. This means making use of free or inexpensive online resources, marketing tools and information. Members of the online small business community have plenty of experience in this area. Check out their tools for making the most of what you have below.

Check out Webinars to Help Choose a Business Entity

When you’re just getting started with your business, choosing the proper structure and entity is a must. The webinars included in this CorpNet post by Nellie Akalp can help you access the information you need to make the best possible decision for your business.

Don’t Be a Data Hoarder

Data can be a major asset for your business. But if you collect too much of it and don’t know how to identify the most important pieces of information, it can get overwhelming. Instead, Stephen H. Yu of Target Marketing suggests throwing out some of your data to make it easier for you to actually make the most of it.

Learn How to Build Relationships in a Virtual World

The relationships you build around your business can be one of your greatest assets, whether with your team, partners or clients. But building virtual relationships is different than building relationships in person. Rachel Strella elaborates in this post. And the BizSugar community offered their input here.

Use Online Resources to Develop an Investment Portfolio

If you plan on investing your income or your business’s money, you need to be very confident in those investments. If you need some help planning out your portfolio, check out the online resources included in this Noobpreneur post by Ivan Widjaya.

Take Advantage of the Latest Updates to Google Search Console

Google Search Console can be an incredibly helpful tool for businesses looking to improve their SEO. However, there are a lot of updates and features that can impact the experience. So you need to know how to use it effectively. This Search Engine Watch post by Joseph Chukwube includes some of the updates that you should know.

Look for Tips to Cut Costs When Getting Started

For brand new businesses, resources are often scarce and finite. So you need to find creative ways to keep costs minimal wherever possible. In this Smallbiztechnology.com post, Ramon Ray offers some suggestions for making the most of limited resources for new businesses.

Make the Most of Your Google Ad Campaigns

Advertising on Google can bring you major returns. But it can also lead to wasted dollars if you’re not careful. Learn how to make the most of your campaigns in this Web Presence post by Lee Jackson. Then see what BizSugar members are saying about the concept here.

Supercharge Your Business Website Through Blogging

Your business website is one of your most important online resources. And if yours doesn’t include a blog, you could really be missing out on some essential benefits. Martin Zwilling goes over some of the ways that blogging can supercharge your website in this Startup Professionals Musings post.

Make the Most of Small Marketing Investments

When it comes to your marketing, small businesses need to be able to make a big splash without a huge investment. There are plenty of lean marketing methods you can use to make the most of your limited resources. See this Crowdspring post by Katie Lundin for more on the subject.

Use Straightforward Guides for Product Strategy

Creating a product strategy is an essential part of getting your business up and running. However, a lot of entrepreneurs aren’t sure where to start. So they end up making poor decisions. To avoid this, here’s a guide from Adam Henshall of Process Street.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "10 Expert Tips for Making the Most of Your Limited Small Business Resources" was first published on Small Business Trends

May 18, 2019

Are Photo ID Cards the Most Effective Security Measure to Your Business?

We’re living in a time where security in the workplace is more important than ever before. Company bosses and HR professionals have a responsibility to care for their employees and ensure office environments are the safest place possible for workers which means security measures have to be taken.

Photo ID cards have become a popular choice amongst businesses as an effective security measure for identifying staff and visitors and allowing access to specific areas but are they the best option for your business?

What Are Photo ID Cards?

Photo ID cards are a small PVC card, usually the size of a credit card with a photograph of the individual on, often as well as their name and job title. Usually placed in a badge holder and attached to a lanyard so they can be worn by staff at all time, ID cards like this can also be customised for individual businesses.

Company branding can be added as well as barcodes/passcodes that turn the ID card into an electronic key to unlock specific areas of buildings when paired with security systems.

Photo ID cards are quite a common security measure in large office buildings or within businesses as a means of not only identifying staff by name, face and job title but also allowing specific access to be granted to different individuals.

Why Do Businesses Choose Photo ID Cards?

There are many reasons so many businesses already use photo ID cards as their chosen form of security for the workplace but the main reason is quite simply that it is an effective method.

As security methods go, photo ID cards are the easiest to implement across a business of any size, relatively economical once initially implemented and in general, one of the most efficient security methods. Cards are light, thin and easy for all staff to wear in a lanyard at all times, access control systems are subtle to fit around a building and technically, if you don’t have the correct access built into your card, you can’t access areas you shouldn’t.

When compared to other security/access control methods, photo ID cards do generally reign supreme. There’s not really any other method currently available that combines identification and access control in one, which are the two most important elements of security in any business.

Key fobs don’t have the option of adding photo ID, meaning they only offer an access control solution and most of the time, they security fobs are attached to people’s office keys which if you leave them on your desk when you head around the building, your access to certain areas is then limited.

Some companies provide employees with digital ID cards that are kept on work phones as a form of identification when heading into specific areas of the workplace but this concept doesn’t always provide access control and also has a lot of room for error, such as phones breaking or IDs not loading. This also forms the same issue as key fobs in the sense that as this ID is kept on a phone you have to pick up and remember to carry, you could easily leave it at home or on your desk.

The Cost of Photo ID Cards

If you’ve decided you wish to use photo ID cards as the chosen security measure for your business and are now interested in cost then this is where research becomes essential.

There’s plenty of company’s that can provide photo ID cards that are printed to match your company’s criteria and that work with your chosen access control system, Digital ID being one of them.

The exact cost of a batch of photo ID cards varies depending on the specification you have chosen, such as the designs and the technology they require but as a rough idea, 100 standard sized ID cards from Digital ID, with one design and made with NXP 4K Mifare technology will cost between £370 and £450. The access control system that goes with these cards retails for between £40 and over £100, depending on the system you choose.

Although this form of security system can have quite an expensive setup cost, it is long lasting and reliable, so once the initial set up cost is funded, you only need to cover the cost of additional and replacement ID cards being printed which is something you can outsource or do in house.

In comparison to other security measures, the cost of key fobs compared to photo ID cards varies, depending on what you require. Key fobs offer no form of ID and therefore the cost of producing them is often less as there is no need for customisation, however, the lower cost is reflective of a less reliable security measure.

How to Set Up Your Photo ID Card Security System

The process of setting up your photo ID card security system is actually relatively straightforward.

The first step is to choose whether you want standard ID cards or access control cards and buy the relevant technology if required. You will need access control card readers for the number of locations around your office space you wish to restrict access to and these will need installing.

You then need to design your ID cards and use an ID card printing service for the process or buy the required device and materials to print them in house. The cost of these two options varies and the option that is right for your business will depend on how many cards you need and how often you will need cards printing. If you only need one lot of cards printing, getting them done professionally will ensure an affordable and quality product but if you know you will regularly need to print new cards, printing in house may end up being the most economical option.

A Recap on the Benefits of a Photo ID Card System

So, we’ve looked at how the systems work and the costs, so let’s recap the benefits of this form of security within a workplace:

  • Option to buy cards with and without access control for different members of staff
  • Clear and simple form of identification
  • Long lasting and reliable form of security
  • Easy to roll out and implement throughout a business
  • Lightweight and subtle to wear at all times
  • Easier to have on you at all times in comparison to other forms of ID/access control

Implementing and Promoting Your New Security System

Once you have decided to use photo ID cards, either with or without access control, within your business, you then have the task of implementing and promoting this new security measure amongst your workforce.

If this is an entirely new system you’re introducing to your employees then knowledge is going to be key in getting everyone on board. Hosting a full staff meeting on the day you provide everyone with their new ID cards that explains the full system, why you have chosen to do this and what is expected of the staff as part of this new security measure ensures everyone understands.

Sending out an email within your company that follows up on this information also ensures everyone is aware and has the guidelines for the system in their inbox to refer to at all times.

If this new security measure is something you wish to promote outside of your organisation too, social media posts on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn and customer/supplier email campaigns are quick and cost-effective ways of spreading the message.

The post Are Photo ID Cards the Most Effective Security Measure to Your Business? appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

May 18, 2019

5 Best Tips of Writing a Recommendation Letter

Before reviewing the tips for writing a recommendation letter, you need to know the exact recommendation letter format:

Structure of a recommendation letter

A recommendation letter basically is a type of a formal letter, and you cannot be creative to this letter, and there is a proper structure which you have to follow for this letter:

  • Introduction:

This is the first part of the recommendation letter where your referee will present them, and they will state their relationship with you. They could be your employer as well as a professor. The need to mention the general impression they have for you by the time they have known you.

  • Content

This is the main body of the recommendation letter in which your referee will his thoughts regarding you to be one of the best candidates for the Master’s program. Moreover, there will be details of your educational background, personality traits, and other necessary activities.

  • Closing

This is the last segment of your recommendation letter in which your referee will add a closing statement to your message which needs to be a standard closing including the referee’s name, contact details, and signature.

The Structure you learned above for recommendation letter, you should study with some Samples of Recommendation Letter.

Tips to have an impressive recommendation letter

Following mentioned are some essential tips, yet you can know more about Calendar DIY:

1-    Mention diverse achievements

If you have to give 2 recommendation letters at a time, you can write totally two different aspects regarding your personality, academic achievements, and potential.

2-    Help with relevant information

In most of the cases, there are chances that your referees will know you, but still, you have to provide them with all the necessary relevant information especially the records of your educational details so that they recommend you in a better way.

Following mentioned are the details of the information which you have to provide to the referee:

•    The CV

•    A list is containing your grades and academic achievements throughout.

•    The list of extra-curricular activities you’ve been a part of

•    The date of submission of the letter

  • Include the things you have done

Your referee is the person who is recommending you, and he shouldn’t just mention your skills and qualities; instead, he should list the examples related to how you have used those skills in different situations. Such cases will provide extra support for your recommendation letter.

  • The letter should show your improvement over time.

The admission officers are quite versed and experienced, so the letter only praising you won’t work instead of having a recommendation letter which states about your improvement with the passing time is a better option to make a good impression over the admission officers.

  • Take care of the letter’s tone.

A recommendation letter couldn’t be creative, yet it shouldn’t be dry as well. It is a formal document, but you don’t need to confuse the formality with dryness. You need to get a recommendation letter written in a way that it shouldn’t bore the admission officers and yet it shouldn’t be so detailed that the subject starts getting dry for the reader.

The post 5 Best Tips of Writing a Recommendation Letter appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

May 18, 2019

Attention Small Business Owners: New Warning Issued on Office Emails with Voicemail Messages

Email Message Scam: New Warning Issued on Office Emails with Voicemail Messages

The criminals who launch phishing attacks are relentless in their pursuit to disguise their message. The latest such effort uses a notice for a new voice mail message to get you to click on it.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) just sent a scam alert warning businesses to not click on these phony office emails notifications for new voice mail messages. The BBB said the voicemail messages are so convincing, its staff was almost fooled by the scam.

If the BBB almost fell for it, you can imagine busy small business owners also falling for the scam. And this is what phishing scammers rely on. The hope you will be too busy to scrutinize the email messages you receive.

The Voicemail Message Scam

It starts with unsolicited email notification for a new voicemail from your Office 365 account or another office software.

The BBB says the email looks legitimate because of the images and text in the body of the email. They said the email comes with official software logo along with text stating the message comes from a “trusted source.”

The scammers take the con a step further by adding additional content in the email. According to the BBB, some versions of the emails have a portion of the voicemail transcribed in the email.

“Please contact me ASAP about…” is one of the examples. Even if you’re not 100% sure, this information might be enough to get you to click on the attachment. And once you click the link, it will download malware into your computer or redirect you to a fake form.

Phishing attacks rely on you being busy and not scrutinizing your emails before you open them.

Scrutinize Your Emails

You’ve probably heard this before, but scammers rely on complacency. If you’re not alert and proactive in protecting your business from cyber attacks, you’ll fall prey to these scams.

Phishing scammers know when to send these emails. If you’re a business they’ll choose specific hours and days of the month to make sure they arrive when you are the busiest.

So how do you stop phishing attacks on their tracks? Don’t open an email if you do not know the sender. At the very least, don’t open them right away. If you have any doubts wait until you have more time and go on from there.

The BBB also recommends to:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails. If you’ve never opted into receiving email alerts from a company or software product, be wary of them.
  • Never click on links in emails from strangers. If you don’t know who the email came from, don’t click on the links in their message. Even links that seem harmless can download malware onto your computer.
  • Log into professional accounts directly instead of via email. If you aren’t sure if a message you receive is real, log in directly to your account to check instead of clicking on links in an email.

BBB Sources

You can go to the BBB.org/SmallBusiness page to learn more about scams which directly affect small businesses.

Learn more about phishing and other scams at the following links:  BBB.org/ScamTips  and at BBB.org/PhishingScam.

Another valuable resource is the BBB Scam Tracker, which shows you the latest reported scams across the U.S. The interactive map lets you zoom in so you can see what is taking place in each state, county, and city.

This is a static image of the map and scams.

Email Message Scam: New Warning Issued on Office Emails with Voicemail Messages

This platform works because businesses report scams as soon as they hear about them or they fall victim to them.

The BBB encourages businesses to report these scams. If no one reports them, they will ruin the lives of more other hard-working business owners. Even the largest of corporations get duped by these scams, so there is no need to feel any shame.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Attention Small Business Owners: New Warning Issued on Office Emails with Voicemail Messages" was first published on Small Business Trends

May 18, 2019

Performance Management Training Tips to Boost your Team

Good management involves getting the best out of others, and regardless of the industry or management environment, there’s always room for improvement. Measuring management performance is a critical component to successful management, and with that in mind, here are some tried and tested tips on how best to monitor and manage your team’s performance.

Setting Clear Goals

An integral part of any training is the ability to help employees set realistic and attainable goals, and by linking goal setting to keeping records, you are ensuring effective processes. Aside from setting realistic targets for employees, a good manager must be able to identify poor performers, and implement a plan to help them become high achievers.

 The Benefits of Training Courses

Fortunately, there are organisations that create top notch performance management training that cover the necessary courses, and with a secure online payment, you can download the complete course material, which is fully editable. These courses are not presentation focused, rather they are interactive, and designed to engage employees at all levels, with a focus on how best to motivate both high and low performance employees.

High Performers

 Just because an employee reaches their targets, that doesn’t mean they can’t do better, and an essential component to a good training is to help high achievers develop further. There is a great guide to goal setting, which is recommended reading for all, as it highlights certain principles that must be in place to maximise your chances of achieving.

Managing Discipline and Dealing with Conflict

 It is important for a manager to be able to handle conflicts, which often appear, and if you invest in the right course materials, this, along with other performance management factors are fully covered. Interactive course material allows you to personalise the content by adding company logos etc, and as the courses have been compiled my management professionals, the content is clear and concise and helps the trainer to deliver it in an effective manner.

Reusable Training Material

When you download a training course, it is yours to use as you see fit, and by building up a collection of specific training modules, you will very soon have an impressive collection that can be reused as you see fit. Printable notes and PowerPoint slides make for easy delivery, and with tips from expert trainers, your delivery techniques will be spot on. This saves you time, as all the hard work has already been done by the training professionals, and you decide when, and how you present the material to your management team.

Course Objectives

 A training course has the following objectives:

  • Manage performance by setting clear and attainable goals that are recorded.
  • Identifying potential causes of poor performance and helping employees overcome obstacles.
  • How to effectively boost team morale.
  • How to recognise success and build upon that.

There is always room for improvement in management, and by downloading tried and tested training material, you can tweak your managers’ skills and that will be reflected in team performance.

The post Performance Management Training Tips to Boost your Team appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

May 18, 2019

Thinking About SMS Appointment Reminders? Here are 8 Reasons Your Business Needs Them

Why Your Small Business Should Use SMS Appointment Reminders

Less than 5% of scheduled appointments are canceled after a customer gets a text reminder. This is according to the new infographic by SpotOn. The report also points out text messages have an open rate of 98%.

Those are great numbers no matter how you look at them. And for small business owners, SMS provides a cost-effective tool for engaging with consumers to deliver quality customer service.

The Co-founder of SpotOn, Zachary Hayman, explained how mobile technology will continue to provide more options for businesses to engage. Hayman said, “Mobile phones are the future of how businesses will connect with their customers. From payments to marketing campaigns, online ordering, appointment booking, you name it.”

All of these services are driven by high mobile ownership rates. According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans have a cellphone of some kind. And smartphones make up 77% of that ownership.

Not only are there more people walking around with these devices, but they check on them throughout the day. Seventy-nine percent of Americans check their phone 15 minutes of waking up with an average daily total of 150 times.

Small Business and SMS

The reason SMS is a good fit for small businesses is the cost and reach of the technology. Depending on the service provider and the number of messages you send, it will cost less than a penny per SMS.

As far as reach, it can be local or international. All the recipients need is a phone with messaging capability. And it doesn’t even have to be a smartphone.

So for less than a penny, you can send your customers reminders of their appointments so they don’t forget. This simple act can be enough to keep your customers around and retain them for the long haul.

Consumer Attitude About SMS

Consumers like the convenience and ease of use of text messaging. When they receive a message, they can quickly check it and take the appropriate action. This is why they respond within the first 3 minutes after getting a message. It takes email an average of 90 minutes before consumers check it.

Users (28%) are also more likely to recommend a company which offers text messages. By simply using SMS, your customers will tell their friends about your business. Their preference of SMS also extends to customer support, as 64% said they favor text over voice when it comes to customer service.

Not surprisingly, 75% of millennials think getting an appoint reminder using text is helpful. And an almost equal number 57% and 55% say it is one less thing to remember and a convenient way to be reminded respectively.

Text messaging along with an online appointment scheduling software can be deployed easily. If you have a business which keeps appointments, it is a reliable technology to provide better customer service.

Businesses in the healthcare, automotive, beauty salons and spas, hotels, and airline and travel agencies can all benefit from SMS.

Benefits of SMS Appointment Reminders

You can view the infographic below.

Why Your Small Business Should Use SMS Appointment Reminders

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Thinking About SMS Appointment Reminders? Here are 8 Reasons Your Business Needs Them" was first published on Small Business Trends

May 18, 2019

Jason Woolsey of Adobe Commerce Cloud: Making Mobile Shopping More Seamless is a $9 Billion Opportunity

I’m smack dab in the middle of seven weeks of seven industry conferences. And yes I’m still in Las Vegas.  But this week I got the opportunity to check out Magento Imagine. This event serves as the eCommerce platform’s annual user conference.  This year’s Imagine marked the eighth time Magento held the conference. But this year marked the first time since the company was acquired by Adobe. And it has become the commerce engine of Adobe’s Experience Cloud.

At the conference I had the opportunity to chat with Jason Woolsey. Woolsey serves as Adobe’s Vice President of Commerce. We talked about the combination of commerce and content and how that is impacting online merchants.  And more importantly we spoke about the importance to the digital shopping experience.  Jason also touches on some of the more notable announcements coming out of the conference. And he explained their potential impact on Magento merchants. This includes integrations with the Amazon Marketplace and Google Ads that allow merchants to manage their whole operation from within the Magento console.  And finally Jason talked about the $9 billion opportunity to capitalize on converting on the growing mobile shopping transition taking place. And he spoke about how progressive web apps can help with that.

Below is an edited transcript of our conversation.  To hear the whole interview watch the video or click the embedded SoundCloud player below.

A Career In Ecommerce Software

Jason Woolsey of Adobe Commerce Cloud: Seamless Mobile Shopping is a $9 Billion OpportunitySmall Business Trends:  Maybe you could give me a little of your personal background before we dig into some of the other stuff.

Jason Woosley:  I started my career as a Software Engineer way back in the day. Kind of migrated over to product management at some point. Went and got an MBA. And then really spent my time in commerce. HomeAway, moving over to Volusion where we worked on small business. I actually grew that business from about 8,000 stores to over 45,000 stores. I created a new product there called Mozu, which was an enterprise, commerce services play. That was divested into Kibo. And now Kibo Commerce actually sells Mozu as their flagship product. And then finally made my way to Magento and saw the light.

Small Business Trends:  Maybe you could talk a little bit more about that combination that Adobe brings to Magento, and what Magento brings to Adobe.

Jason Woosley:  When we first started talking through the due diligence, it was very clear that we were all aligned on philosophically where we wanted to take out software. We think that the future is microservices. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get there comprehensively. But we’ve already kind of started that path. So realizing that we were already fairly well aligned on what we were doing, I think has just opened the doors for us to really learn from each other.

And so what Magento does really well is the openness of our systems. And I mean that both internally and externally. So if you think about the internal development teams, a lot of times you have a team that’s working on something. And they don’t let anybody else touch their code. They just have one objective and off they go. But it kind of ignores the interdependencies of those development teams. So we’ve taken our open concept where we can accept pull requests from anyone in the community. And also internalize that. So now our internal teams can also accept pull requests from any other internal team.

Bringing Magento into the Adobe Fold

If you have something you need from a team, you can actually just go write it yourself. Submit the pull request and off you go. And I think Adobe is super excited about seeing that trickle into their development methodology. And of course we’ve benefited from all of Adobe’s maturity and the tooling, security analysis tools, all of the performance analysis tools, really giving us more insight into how we write better software. The combination has been truly fairly fantastic.

I’ve got to give Adobe a ton of credit, because they have come in really respecting the Magento community, and doing everything they can to continue the momentum that we have at our backs here, and expanding that into the Adobe ecosystem. So it’s terrific for the community as well.

A Win-Win for Two Great Platforms

It is an absolute win-win. When you think about that last mile of transaction that Adobe was missing in their experience engine, we’re very clearly able to fill that. Both in the small business all the way up to very large enterprises. And closing that loop means that we’ve now got the only tool set on the market that can actually address the customer journey from end to end. And that’s the capabilities that we’re so excited about putting in our customers’ hands. Is this real ability to take an experience that’s on-brand, to meet your customer at any point.

Small Business Trends:  Let’s talk a little about some big announcements, and really I guess the one that stands out to me of course … I do a show called Watching Amazon, so I guess you know where I’m going with this one — the whole announcement around making it easier for Magento merchants to integrate and manage their inventories and stores on Amazon.

Jason Woosley:  Yeah, Watching Amazon is something we should all be doing. One of the interesting things that happened last year is that the needle kind of moved over above 50% for the number of product searches that originate from the Amazon platform, which makes that an absolute juggernaut, impossible to ignore now. So we were super excited to announce Amazon Sales Channel, which allows our merchants to very easily sell on the Amazon marketplace.

Helping Merchants Sell on Amazon

It allows them to synchronize their inventory, their catalog and their orders. To do so very selectively with a lot of tools and techniques to help them make their experience on Amazon as on-brand as possible. We recognize that Amazon is a marketplace. You don’t get a lot of opportunity to differentiate yourself. But we certainly think it’s something you can’t ignore. And so creating opportunities for our merchants to participate in that incredible marketplace while still maintaining a best in class branded store front, we think is an easy answer.

What we try to do pretty much across the board, is not take people out of their work flow. So If you’re in the commerce side of the house and you’re working on your orders and channels and campaigns, you want to be able to do that from one place. If you have to get out of your workflow, go into the Amazon system. That’s just another set of training, another opportunity for mistakes, and another set of systems you’ve got to find a way to stitch back together when you’re actually reporting.

We’d made that a piece of cake. And it’s actually out of the box capability. And you put in your Amazon credentials for Magento, and off you go. You can select products, catalogs, categories, campaigns, all that kind of stuff. Determine how much inventory you want to make available on Amazon, so if you’re really looking to drive more traffic to your storefront, maybe you don’t put all your inventory on Amazon, but still kind of drive some of that interest.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Leverage Them

Small Business Trends:  Well it’s like, if you can’t beat them, leverage them, basically.

Jason Woosley:  I think that’s exactly right. That’s very well put. If you can’t beat them, leverage them. And it’s going to be different for each merchant. Everybody’s got a different approach to how to deal with these things. But I think the important thing is that we’ll give you the tools and the flexibility to deal with them the way that you choose.

Small Business Trends:  And then on the other hand there’s another kind of big company out there, Google, that’s driving a lot of traffic.

Jason Woosley:  Absolutely.

Small Business Trends:  And you’re also doing something with them. What’s that?

Playing Nice With Google

Jason Woosley:  Yeah, well and Google again, driving still over 50% of traffic and revenue to storefronts. So that’s another important avenue. And when you think about demand generation really. That’s a tool that you want to operate just like a campaign from within the Magento admin. So we announced Google Ads Channel, which allows merchants to create a full Google shopping experience right from the Magento admin, essentially allowing you to optimize your targeted spend. Google takes care of making sure the ads are targeted and relevant, and you’ve got creative control right from Magento, and then of course you can measure all the efficacy of that ad spin as well.

Small Business Trends:  One of the things about that is the ability to basically leverage Google’s AI to help you optimize your ad spend.

Jason Woosley:  That’s exactly right. Google’s campaigns are incredibly intelligent, they leverage all the great machine learning work that they’ve done, to make sure that those ads do hit the targeted consumer in a way that gives them a better chance of having a positive brand experience with them.

Taking Advantage of AI

Small Business Trends:  Just in general, with Magento now being under the Adobe umbrella, you get a chance to take advantage of Adobe’s AI platform, Sensei, right?

Jason Woosley:  That’s exactly right. And we are bringing Sensei abilities to Magento Commerce. Which is one of the things I’m most excited about from the acquisition. Those enterprise tools that you feel are so far out of reach for the mid-market. But those capabilities apply just as much to small merchants as they do to large merchants. When you think about it, at the end of the day, your shopper doesn’t care whether you’re a big or small retailer. They care about whether the experience is positive. So bringing in the AI capabilities of Sensei into Magento Commerce is a no brainer. And we’re starting out with recommendation, very much looking into experience targeting very soon, so lots of great runway on what we do with Sensei.

Small Business Trends:  One other thing that I know is kind of near and dear to you, is the whole Progressive Web App (PWA) space.

Jason Woosley:  Yeah, absolutely. We’ve been on the forefront pushing Progressive Web Apps, really since 2017, a partnership with Google to really bring those capabilities to Magento merchants, natively. We have a default storefront theme called Luma — that’s been terrific — gives you a ton of opportunities on the flexibility of using responsive web design. Now we’ve created a new theme called Venia, that is a PWA based theme, and it takes full advantage of all of the PWA constructs.

The Benefits of Progressive Web Apps

The ability to add a home screen, offline viewing mode, no over delivery of assets, so you’ll be highly responsive and actually getting smaller packages delivered to mobile devices, which is great for emerging markets where bandwidth may be expensive, or not broadly available, or the mobile device might be the only connected device. But also it makes the experience on every device snappier. And that’s something that we know the consumer expectations are rising. PWA is a terrific technology to go and meet those consumer expectations. And really provide those delightful experiences that every brand is looking for.

Small Business Trends:  And you say this is really good news not only for the big enterprises, but also for the SMB folks?

Jason Woosley: That’s right. Yeah. When we talk about how PWA Studio, which is our premier authoring tool for Progressive Web Application, really brings the capabilities of PWA to a much broader swathe of JavaScript developers.  Like I said earlier, in two years, I think every single web application that’s being developed will be a PWA Application. I’m 100% confident that. That’s where we’re headed. And so right now is the time to invest in PWA. And we’re super excited to bring the right tools and the right capabilities to merchants of all sizes, to get this done.

Preparing for the Move to Mobile

Small Business Trends:  I think a stat that you mentioned in your keynote was, is it 75% of consumers are shopping via mobile device?

Jason Woosley:  Well over 50% of traffic is now being generated from a mobile device. Which is great news. But the opportunity to close the gap on conversion between mobile device and a desktop device is about nine billion dollars.  So making those mobile experiences seamless, and as transactable as possible. That’s a nine billion dollar opportunity on the table, and something we should all be chasing.

This article, "Jason Woolsey of Adobe Commerce Cloud: Making Mobile Shopping More Seamless is a $9 Billion Opportunity" was first published on Small Business Trends

May 18, 2019

Performance Management Training Tips to Boost your Team

Good management involves getting the best out of others, and regardless of the industry or management environment, there’s always room for improvement. Measuring management performance is a critical component to successful management, and with that in mind, here are some tried and tested tips on how best to monitor and manage your team’s performance.

Setting Clear Goals

An integral part of any training is the ability to help employees set realistic and attainable goals, and by linking goal setting to keeping records, you are ensuring effective processes. Aside from setting realistic targets for employees, a good manager must be able to identify poor performers, and implement a plan to help them become high achievers.

 The Benefits of Training Courses

Fortunately, there are organisations that create top notch performance management training that cover the necessary courses, and with a secure online payment, you can download the complete course material, which is fully editable. These courses are not presentation focused, rather they are interactive, and designed to engage employees at all levels, with a focus on how best to motivate both high and low performance employees.

High Performers

 Just because an employee reaches their targets, that doesn’t mean they can’t do better, and an essential component to a good training is to help high achievers develop further. There is a great guide to goal setting, which is recommended reading for all, as it highlights certain principles that must be in place to maximise your chances of achieving.

Managing Discipline and Dealing with Conflict

 It is important for a manager to be able to handle conflicts, which often appear, and if you invest in the right course materials, this, along with other performance management factors are fully covered. Interactive course material allows you to personalise the content by adding company logos etc, and as the courses have been compiled my management professionals, the content is clear and concise and helps the trainer to deliver it in an effective manner.

Reusable Training Material

When you download a training course, it is yours to use as you see fit, and by building up a collection of specific training modules, you will very soon have an impressive collection that can be reused as you see fit. Printable notes and PowerPoint slides make for easy delivery, and with tips from expert trainers, your delivery techniques will be spot on. This saves you time, as all the hard work has already been done by the training professionals, and you decide when, and how you present the material to your management team.

Course Objectives

 A training course has the following objectives:

  • Manage performance by setting clear and attainable goals that are recorded.
  • Identifying potential causes of poor performance and helping employees overcome obstacles.
  • How to effectively boost team morale.
  • How to recognise success and build upon that.

There is always room for improvement in management, and by downloading tried and tested training material, you can tweak your managers’ skills and that will be reflected in team performance.

The post Performance Management Training Tips to Boost your Team appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

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