Dec 29
Reading Time: 2 minutes

With the 2017 holiday season coming to an end, New Year’s resolutions are now in full swing. Unfortunately for many, the resolutions they set won’t last past the month of January. But, this doesn’t have to be the case for your business.

The New Year always brings a fresh start, and we all have the potential to do something different to bring about positive change. While some may choose to continue their old patterns and behaviors, 2018 can be the year to make some powerful changes in your online business.

Here are a few resolutions to help grow your online business in 2018:

Identify Problem Areas
Having your own business means you have to learn how to identify problems, especially as your business grows. Take the time to look back at the past year and address problems, areas of improvement, and what did and did not work that year for your business. This will help you be more productive and prevent bigger problems from forming later on in the year.

Set Clear Goals
Outline your business goals for the year. Your first step should be to assess your recent efforts and determine where you want your business to be this time next year. This will help you focus on what needs to be done to make all your goals and long-term objectives possible.

Make A Plan
You also need to include a plan with the goals you set for the new year. Creating a plan will help you prove that a goal is achievable and clearly define what you need to do to attain it. Also, your business is more likely to accomplish goals if you know where to start and what steps are needed.

So what are you waiting for? Start 2018 off by setting resolutions that will help grow your business and make it your most profitable year yet!

The New Year is also a great opportunity to review current relationships with anyone your business is working with. Having the right E-commerce partner can be an enormous help when you are looking to grow your online business and create a solid strategy for your sales. Here at BMT Micro, we’re all about giving you the right tools to successfully sell online. And, our digital commerce platform is designed from the ground up to be intuitive and trouble-free. If you would like to learn more about our services or if you have questions about how we can help your online business, please feel free to contact our vendor services via email at vendors@bmtmicro.com or visit our website at www.bmtmicro.com.

Dec 22
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The holiday season can be an exciting time for online businesses, especially since some make up to 40% of their yearly revenue during this time. But, what most online businesses don’t prepare for are the holiday chargebacks that begin to roll in after the start of the new year.

Chargebacks spike during this time of year partly as a result of the high volume of online transactions, and partly due to increased fraudulent activity. Regardless of the reason, chargebacks are costly and can ultimately wipe out your seasonal profits. But, there are a few things your business can do now to minimize holiday chargebacks and reduce their impact later.

  • Check where orders are coming from. Make sure IP location and credit card address match up. If the information doesn’t match up, you should be wary and at least question it with the buyer.
  • Verify multiple orders from the same credit card, especially on unusually larger than normal and/or high-priced orders.
  • Always require the credit card’s security code. Also, make sure to verify the CVV code and billing address with a sale.
  • Check suspicious and/or fake email addresses. Fraudsters often use disposable emails accounts from domains that require minimal information to register.
  • One best practice is to keep accurate records, including confirmation of both product purchase and delivery, so you are prepared to dispute a chargeback if one should occur.
  • Consider using a company that offers fraud-prevention technology and services that work to minimize any chances of chargebacks.

Chargebacks are an 80 billion global issue that is increasing by around 20% each year, but they don’t have to ruin your holiday season. You can protect your business from chargebacks well into the new year by taking the preventative steps we mentioned.

BMT Micro can also help your business handle chargebacks during the busiest time of the year! We manage refunds, charges, and chargebacks for our customers. We also have a state-of-the-art fraud detection system that automatically screens orders and puts questionable orders through a manual approval process. If you have any questions or if you are interested in learning more about our offerings please contact our vendor services at vendors@bmtmicro.com.

Dec 15
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Change can sometimes be difficult. However, it’s needed for business growth and development – especially when it comes to your website. Many businesses understand the importance of their online presence and make updates to their websites content regularly (whether it’s an update to their product offering, changing photos & graphics, or even updating their logo). But, the design of your website can quickly get outdated and in order to fix this, a redesign becomes necessary.

A website redesign is no small task or investment, but the upside can be enormous. Your website is the first impression your potential customers have of your business. And, it plays a critical role in your customer acquisition efforts which greatly impacts your sales and revenue.

The following are 3 important reasons to consider a website redesign:

Your website looks outdated or untrustworthy
The most common reason most businesses go through a redesign process is an outdated looking site. An outdated looking site can also hurt your credibility with consumers (approximately 75% of consumers will judge the credibility of your business based solely on the design of your website). It’s important that a business’ website looks professional, clean and pleasing to the eye. So, if your website just looks a bit outdated (or if you haven’t updated in a couple of years) it might be time to consider a redesign.

It has a bad user experience & is hard to navigate
If the aesthetics of your website design are outdated, chances are that your user experience is also going to be lacking. If your website is tough to navigate, has slow load times, or is unnecessarily complex it is going to costs your business. This could mean the difference between someone staying on your site and converting, or getting frustrated and leaving to go to a competitor’s site. Your website design should provide a great user experience in order to keep your customers and prospects happy.

You aren’t getting the results you want
Is your website helping you build your customer base? Is it contributing towards your business goals? If your website is no longer meeting your business needs, it’s time for a redesign. Your website should ensure that your business is getting the most out of every online opportunity available.

There is no set rule for when a website redesign should happen. It will depend on your industry, your business goals, and what your site’s purpose is. In the end, it’s important to remember that your website is meant to bring your business. If your current website is not effectively doing that, it’s time to determine why and make necessary changes.

We are also excited to announce that we have redesigned the BMT Micro website! Check out the new updates over at www.bmtmicro.com and let us know what you think!

Dec 8
Reading Time: 3 minutes

For many SaaS businesses, it’s easy to obsess over tracking every performance metric out there. But, the problem with this is that it is neither productive nor efficient.

Did you know the most successful SaaS businesses narrow their focus to just a few key metrics? You’ve likely heard the acronym KPI, which is short for Key Performance Indicator. The term is a fancy way to refer to the metrics that are most critical for tracking the success of your business.

A set of KPIs will be different for every business. But, there are a few KPIs every SaaS business should track.

Churn Rate
Churn measures the number of people who cancel their subscriptions or leave a service within a certain time period (i.e. every month). Every industry has different reasons for customer churn, but in SaaS, the number one churn driver is a lack of use. Also, your churn rate can quickly get out of control if you are not tracking it.

If you have a high churn rate, the best way to combat it is to talk to your customers. Your business can conduct user interviews and use surveys to get a better understanding of how you can improve your product. Another way to fight churn is by keeping your customers informed (via email and social media) when you release new features and product updates.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
Monthly recurring revenue is the amount of total revenue you had during the month from recurring subscriptions. Tracking monthly recurring revenue allows you to see exactly how your business is doing month-to-month. It also keeps your SaaS business focused on the present.

MRR is a simple but powerful metric that supplies insight when analyzing new sales, upsells, renewals, and churn on a monthly basis. Having annual plans on top of your regular monthly plans can also complicate things for tracking MRR. Upgrades and downgrades can also become tedious to track.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Customer acquisition cost (CAC) shows how much you have to spend to get one new customer from a particular source. To calculate CAC, add up your entire marketing and sales expenses over a month and divide that by the total number of customers you gained in the same period.

It is also a good idea to go a step further and segment CAC by acquisition channel. This will help SaaS businesses test new channels for growth and determine if the acquisition cost is too high for certain ones. Typically, you will want to lower acquisition costs as much as possible.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
Customer Lifetime Value measures the average amount that a customer is worth during their relationship with your business. A SaaS businesses CAC should never be higher than its average CLTV. According to HubSpot, “a healthy business should have a CLV that is at least three times greater than its CAC. Any lower (say, a 1:1 ratio) and you’re spending too much money.”

We’ve written about Customer Lifetime Value and how to calculate it before so we won’t go into too much detail. You can read more about it here: Calculating Customer Lifetime Value.

By tracking just a few KPIs a SaaS business can drive higher quality traffic, improve on-site engagement and, most importantly, increase conversions and sales. But, every SaaS business is different and you need to calculate the metrics above based on your unique circumstances and then examine ways to improve them. Ultimately, this will allow you to make the most of your time and money to drive your business decisions and strategies in the most effective way.

Dec 1
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Holiday sales are typically viewed as one-time transactions, but your relationship with these shoppers doesn’t have to end once the seasonal rush is over. While it may be tougher to convert seasonal shoppers into repeat customers, it costs considerably less to try and keep them versus attracting and converting new ones. The holiday shopping season actually provides a unique opportunity to hook seasonal shoppers and convert them into returning and loyal customers.

The following are 3 tips on how to convert seasonal one-time shoppers into repeat customers:

Email Marketing
Many businesses make the mistake of blasting new customers with promotional emails right off the bat, but this is not best practice. You will not develop a worthwhile and lasting relationship with new customers by doing this. Nurturing emails actually get 10 times more responses than regular promotional emails. So, you should try to send a welcome email to any new customer within a few days of their purchase. This will warm them up to your brand and messaging.

Takeaway: Focus on creating nurturing emails for your new customers to keep them more engaged and receptive to future promotional emails.

Segment Customers
Segment your new customers from your regular customers, and create a communication plan for each. You should define a clear communication strategy for each segment and target them separately. For example, send out targeted emails to new customers to tempt them back to your site and focus your messaging on converting them into a life-long customer. For regular customers, send personalized cross-sell and upsell product recommendations, or even a seasonal promotion based on their past purchases.

Takeaway: Regular customers should be receiving different targeted emails or ads than those who have only purchased from you during the holiday months.

Reconnect in January
As we mentioned earlier, it is not best practice to bombard new seasonal customers with promotional emails right after they make a purchase. Instead, focus on encouraging old and new customers to come back with special promotions in January and throughout the new year. It is also a good idea to follow up with new customers to see if their purchase was well received and send them an incentive to make that all important second purchase.

Takeaway: Focus on reconnecting with new customers in January with incentives to bring them back.

Don’t let your seasonal shoppers turn into one-and-done sales. Focus your efforts on staying relevant and keeping customers engaged even after the holiday shopping season. With just a few key strategies in place, you can successfully convert your seasonal one-time shoppers into year-long customers.