Jan 19
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Product pricing is one of the essential parts of an online business. It can make or break a business and requires continuous evaluation. Plus, the majority of consumers make purchasing decisions solely based on price.

There are various strategies you can use to determine how you price your digital products. Here are three simple but effective tips that can help establish your e-commerce pricing strategy.

Know Your Margins & USP
When you are first putting together an e-commerce pricing strategy it’s important to know your margins. This means making sure your pricing is not too low so you are able to gain profit every time you sell. It is also common for many consumers to have a difficult time deciding which product is worth their time, money and trust. This is when a USP becomes critical. An effective USP will allow them to see exactly what a business has to offer that the competition does not.

Discounts & Incentives
Offering incentives or occasional discounts as part of an e-commerce pricing strategy can greatly increase conversions. Incentives can make products more attractive and motivate shoppers to buy. Even if you can only offer incentives for a limited time, displaying a lower discounted price can persuade most price-sensitive shoppers to convert.

Pricing Testing
Testing pricing on a regular basis is also an important part of an e-commerce pricing strategy. A/B testing is an easy way to determine which price point brings you the most conversions and the best results. You can also drive improvements to price points by proactively monitoring and analyzing conversion rates. But, every change should be measured and validated with an analytics tool.

Pricing is a powerful tool. We recommend that you revisit your pricing strategy on an ongoing basis. Having an effective and sustainable e-commerce pricing strategy is vital for an online business to succeed long term.

Here at BMT Micro, our digital commerce platform is designed to handle a variety of pricing needs and strategies for online businesses. We also offer our clients personalized choices and solutions that other e-commerce providers are unwilling or unable to provide.

If you would like to explore what all our platform has to offer, you can sign up for free: here or contact our vendor services via email at vendors@bmtmicro.com for more information.

Jan 5

How To Write A Business Plan

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Like most daunting projects, many business owners put off writing a business plan. But, writing a business plan is an important step in helping your company grow and thrive (no matter how long you’ve been in operation). A strong business plan can provide direction, purpose, and is also critical for businesses seeking funding.

Even if you aren’t seeking funding, there are still many compelling reasons you should take the time to write a business plan. Here are just a few things a business plan can help you with:

  • Checking the profitability of your niche
  • Developing your value proposition and a USP
  • Taking a comprehensive view of your business
  • Setting up business goals
  • Avoiding costly mistakes

If you haven’t written a business plan before, it is best to start out section by section. The following are seven key components you will need to include:

Executive Summary
The Executive Summary is the last part you’ll write, but it’s the first part of the business plan. This part serves as a summary of the entire plan.

Company Description
The company description is a longer, high-level overview of your company, business model, products or services, types of consumers, and competitive edge.

Products and Services
This section should fully describe the product or service you offer, with a focus on customer benefits. You should also describe how your offerings differ from your competitors’.

Market Analysis
The market analysis outlines your targeted market, where you fit in the market, how your prices are structured, how you will address competition and remain competitive in your industry.

Strategy and Implementation
This section describes your growth strategy. Here you can discuss your sales and marketing strategies and how you’ll implement them to generate leads, increase conversion and retain customers.

Organization & Management
Here, you’ll outline the structure of your business. Identify the owners and any requirements related to staffing, logistics and business development.

Financial Plan & Projections
The last section of your business plan should include all the financial data about your business, from expected costs, projected revenue and more.

The process of writing a business plan can be an intimidating task to tackle, but it will help you focus on the right things and give you a roadmap for future success. No matter what stage your business is at, spend some time making your business plan manageable and helpful so you’ll be better prepared for success.

Jun 9
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Deciding between an in-house or outsourced e-commerce solution is becoming a constant dilemma for many online businesses. Selecting the right solution is just as important as the product or service being sold. But, how does a business know whether it is in their best interest to build their own in-house solution versus outsourcing it?

First, there are many things to take into consideration when building your own in-house e-commerce solution:

  • Website development and maintenance
  • Hosting space and secure storage
  • Payment Options
  • Merchant account and payment gateway to process payments
  • Credit card processing fees
  • PCI Compliance
  • Order Management
  • Product Fulfillment
  • Fraud Protection
  • Language & Localization
  • Subscription Management
  • Customer Support
  • Analytics & Reporting
  • Coupon & Discount Options
  • Affiliate Network
  • Tax calculation, collection, and remittance
  • Cross-border tax management
  • Compliance with country-specific payment laws and regulations
  • Refund request and chargebacks

Does your business have the time or the money to spend months in development? What about the skills and resources to build an entire e-commerce solution that is stable and secure?

One of the biggest reasons why many online businesses outsource e-commerce needs is because it is more cost effective than building an in-house solution. Outsourcing e-commerce needs allow businesses to focus on their products or services rather than investing time, money, and resources into developing and maintaining an entire e-commerce system.

Third-party e-commerce platforms (like BMT Micro) simplify everything because they are designed to save businesses time and money. As more shoppers become willing to spend their money online, outsourcing helps businesses deliver a consistent quality of services, enhance customer satisfaction and maximize sales.

Here at BMT Micro, Inc., we offer a full-service e-commerce solution that will meet all of your business requirements. Our proprietary systems (all created in-house) have everything you need to sell software online. We also offer our clients personalized choices and solutions that other e-commerce providers are unwilling or unable to provide.

With BMT Micro, your customers will enjoy online purchasing designed from the ground up to be intuitive and trouble-free. Plus, we can customize our plans to suit your business needs! If you would like to learn more about our services or if you have questions, please feel free to contact our vendor services via email at vendors@bmtmicro.com or visit our website at www.bmtmicro.com.

Apr 21
Reading Time: 2 minutes

To reach a global audience, it has become imperative for online businesses to build an effective cross-border e-commerce strategy. But, in order to do this, a business must adapt the shopping and checkout experience to the actual location of their customer (also known as localization).

What is localization?
Localization is the adaptation of a product or service to a specific language and culture. It is not just the translation; it is the comprehensive research and understanding of the culture in order to adapt the product or service to the culture in all aspects. This can include signs, symbols, customs, and other characteristics of the region.

To truly be successful with localization, a business must have an in-depth understanding of how customer preferences vary from place to place.

Speak your customer’s language
Customers prefer to shop in their native language. Research from Rosetta Stone found that 72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy products with information written in their native language. To make your products and services more accessible, analyze which languages your customers are using.

Many different aspects go into intercultural communication, so we do not suggest using online translation engines. They are very inaccurate and will not relay the proper message to your customers. The best option would be to get an internal or local translator. If that is not an option for your business, there are companies you can outsource the work to.

Offer preferred payment methods
Preferred payment methods differ dramatically by country. In a study done by a UK-based Internet marketing firm, 50% of online shoppers said they would abandon their purchase if their preferred payment method were not available at checkout. So, research which payment methods are the most popular to your customers around the world and make sure you offer them.

Display prices in local currency
Just like languages, it is crucial to display prices in your customer’s local currency. To do this, you can display pricing in each respective country’s currency and convert the currency to your own or you can set up an account to accept the country’s currency. You will also need to be able to adjust quickly for varying exchange rates and adhere to international taxes, tariffs, and fees.

If finding the resources to support your localization efforts seems difficult or daunting, BMT Micro can help. Our localization efforts offer customers a complete purchase experience (from start to finish) in their own language. We are consistently working to add languages to our localization repertoire and we understand various cultural frameworks associated with languages from different regions. We can also customize order forms and shopping carts to match your website and suit your localization needs. If you would like to learn more about how we can assist with your cross-border e-commerce strategy and localization, please feel to contact our vendor services at vendors@bmtmicro.com.

Apr 14
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

A return policy can make or break an online business. At least 30% of all products ordered online are returned compared to only 8.89% bought in brick-and-mortar shops (Invesp). But, 92% of shoppers say they would buy something again if they were happy with the return policy.

With 67% of shoppers normally checking the return policy before making a purchase, your business cannot neglect this. A good return policy can turn around a poor customer experience and encourage repeat customers. It can differentiate your business from your competition and even reduce the time spent on processing returns.

What is a return policy?
Return policies are the rules business owners establish to manage the process by which customers return or exchange unwanted or defective merchandise that they have purchased previously (USLegal). In other words, a return policy (synonymous with refund policy) is a set of guidelines that business owners follow when dealing with returns and refunds for their products.

For example, here is BMT Micro’s Refund Policy:
The majority of the software we sell is distributed on a try-before-you-buy basis, which eliminates virtually all situations where a refund is requested due to the fact that the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate a product is made before the product is purchased. We strongly encourage you to try the software you are purchasing before you buy it. If you purchase a product you have tried and still have discovered problems, please contact the developer or technical support first. In most cases, a solution is available and our experience shows that software developers are eager to help you solve any problems you might have. In the unlikely event you purchase a product you have tried prior to purchasing, and have been in contact with the developer of the software to attempt a resolution, we do offer a 30 day refund policy. The 30 day period begins from the date of the purchase and runs 30 consecutive days, including weekends and holidays.

We offer the same refund policy on software that is not available on a try-before-you-buy basis, however we still ask that you contact the software developer with any issues prior to requesting a refund.

So to recap: After purchasing, if you have any problems you should always first attempt to resolve them with the developer. If within 30 days of purchase you are not able to solve any post-sale issues, contact us and we will gladly assist you.

Having a clear, concise policy is important because it can:

  • Improve customer service and experience
  • Attract and retain customers
  • Set customer expectations
  • Win customer’s trust

[Source: http://www.smallrevolution.com/store-content-pages/refund-policy/]

When it comes to making your own return policy or even just updating your existing one, there are a few best practices to abide by.

Make It Easy To Find
Your return policy should be easy to find on your site. You should never try to hide it or send your customers on a scavenger hunt for the information they seek. 95% of shoppers that make returns will come back if they feel you made the process easy for them.

Time Frame Limitations
It’s important to inform customers how long they have to return a product or request a refund. Generally, 15-30 days is standard but just make sure to put it in writing.

State Special Circumstances And Any Return Costs
If your business runs sales or promotions, it is best to explicitly state if these fall under a separate return policy. Also, if it is up to the customer to pay for return shipping, you need to make that very clear.

Exchange, Credit, Cash?
Your return policy should state whether a customer could exchange the item, get store credit, or a refund of their money. Determine what works best for your business and make that clear in your policy.

Keep in mind; a return policy is not one-size fits all. You need to personalize it to your specific business and target audience. Think of your return policy as an extension of your business and an opportunity to build your brand.