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Razy Shah

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E-commerce in ASEAN is expected to grow to US$88 billion or 6.4 percent of all retail sales by 2025. You want to ride this trend and bring your offline business online with e-commerce. A quick search overwhelms you with a wide variety of do-it-yourself e-commerce store builders. You still have to contend with designing the store, driving sales with online marketing, thinking of shipping options and more.

The scenario above is a common problem aspiring e-commerce business owners face. Luckily, there is Shopify. Shopify is a complete e-commerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders — all with a few clicks of the mouse.

Shopify as an E-Commerce Platform

In terms of finding out which is the best e-commerce platform to use for your business, Shopify is the most complete, flexible and functional e-commerce platform. Everything that you need to run your store online can be found on Shopify. It allows you to easily create your online website, build your brand, design the entire purchasing process as well as market and promote your brand. All this while providing great customer service and support.

But if you’re reading this article, you’re most likely already sold on the idea of using Shopify. The real question you have now is how to get started. Well, here’s some good news. We’re making it easy for you with this guide and by the time you reach the end, you’ll be ready to kickstart your Shopify online business.

Below is a rundown of what you will encounter the moment you decide to put up your online store through Shopify.

Step 1: Create a Brand Personality

First things first. Before you even create your Shopify website, do you have a brand personality? If you do, feel free to skip to the next section on how to set up your Shopify account.

Creating a brand personality is important as it dictates the look and feel, as well as overall communication of your brand to your target audience. Whether you’re selling your own products or dabbling in dropshipping, creating a strong brand personality helps you build a steady stream of loyal customers who recognize your product and realize its value.

Branding is what makes your product stand out from other brands. It is the unique name and image that you incorporate into your product or business to be able to distinguish them from the rest. Through your personal branding, you are able to strategize how to market your product and your business on Shopify.

How do you build a strong brand for your business on Shopify?

Start with identifying your target audience. One way to do this is to build a customer persona. A customer persona is a depiction of your perfect customer(s) based on solid data gathered from your existing customers (both the good and the bad) as well as current prospects. Creating this image of your ideal customer allows you to personalize your branding and tailor your messaging accordingly.

Ask yourself: Who are your customers and what are they like? What are their interests and where are they located? Which industry do your products or services belong? Do some research on who your top competitors are, check their pages and how they do their social media marketing. Doing this will enable you to effectively position yourself in the market and attract the right customers.

Secondly, you have to identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). A USP is simply what you have that your competitors don’t. It is the message that you want to deliver to the online world which will attract your ideal customers. It is formally expressed in the form of a positioning statement.

Build a positioning statement. A positioning statement serves as a guide on how to formulate marketing strategies for your brand. There is an algorithm you can use to create the best positioning statement for your brand and it consists of these four elements: target customer, market definition, brand promise and reason to believe in your brand. A well-crafted positioning statement can help differentiate your brand, attract your customers and win market share from your competition.

Don’t forget to put some thought behind your business name. Last but not least, your business name will largely reflect and represent everything your brand stands for. It is your identity and can literally or figuratively describe what your company is about or what it can do for your clients. It will influence your logo, your slogan and your marketing communication. It should also be unique as you wouldn’t want to be mistaken for another brand (nor get sued for copyright infringement). Remember that your domain name will also depend on the your business name. As to choosing a memorable domain name for your e-store, the best way is to follow these five rules.

Step 2: Set Up an Account

To be able to use Shopify, first you have to set up an account for your store – but bet you already knew that.

Go to Shopify.com and sign up by entering your email address, creating a password and naming your store. You will also have to provide in the next page your name, address, country, and contact number.

You have the option to explore the Shopify website first if you click the button labelled “I’m just playing around”. Otherwise, if you’re ready with products to sell, you will be asked to add them to your website.

Once you’ve proceeded to the dashboard, you can do any of the following: Add products to see it in your store, customize the look of your website or set up your domain.

Step 3: Customize the theme of your website

Shopify is known for its easy-to-use customizable features – from themes, products, discounts, checkouts, and payments. Theme customization on Shopify strikes a balance between familiarity and originality for the benefit of customers and merchants at the same time.

You have the option to use available and ready-made designs or have full control on how to customize your entire Shopify website. Either choose from 100+ themes created by professional designers or have full access to the HTML and CSS of your store and be able to customize it with the help of Shopify experts from all over the world.

You can choose from designer themes available and alter it to your liking, making it distinctly “you”. No coding is required, that is why Shopify is easy to use. The number of available themes depends on the package that you buy on Shopify which starts from as low as $13. Of course, the more add-ons you require, the price goes up and that really depends on what you need to run your online shop. As for advanced changes to your themes and layouts, getting help is an option. Ask the experts! As Shopify partners, agencies like 2Stallions can help you with the harder HTML and CSS stuff where you can build your Shopify theme exactly the way you like it.

Step 4: Customize the features of your website

There are many features that you can customise for your website on Shopify – from personalising your end-user experience with customisable Shopping Cart features to designing how you manage your online orders with Store Management features.

Here are some great features that can help you do that.

Shopping Cart Features:

100 payment gateways – Shopify has integration with 100 external payment gateways. It is so extensive that they even have integrations for bitcoin!

Free ShippingWant to offer free shipping to your customers? You can do so and choose the exact price point where free shipping applies when your customer checks out

Multiple Languages If your online store is available in more than one country, fret not. Shopify has a multiple languages feature for your online store checkout, available in 50 languages.

Abandoned Check Out RecoveryThe great thing about e-commerce stores is the possibility of bringing back customers who changed their minds right before completing a purchase. With abandoned check out recovery, you can recover lost sales by automatically sending out an email to remind them to complete their purchase.

Automatic Taxes – Calculating taxes can be a hassle, especially when you’re selling products in different countries where taxes vary. Automatic taxes allow Shopify to handle it by automatically calculating major country and state tax rates.

Store Management:

Customer profiles With customer profiles enabled, you can learn more about your customers and their shopping habits, find their contact information and order history.

Fulfillment centers This option allows you to connect to fulfillment solutions such as Amazon, Rakuten Super Logistics or Shipwire or a custom one.

Refunds Refunds are common but the process can be troublesome. This option makes it easy for your customers to get a refund on some or all items in one order via their chosen payment method. On your business front, your inventory automatically gets updated. A win-win!

All these features above are some of the common features that might help you tailor your online shop to your needs. However, that’s not all. Shopify offers way more features that you can customise for your online store.

Step 5: Create awareness of your online store through digital marketing

If no one knows about your e-commerce store, you can’t start generating any sales. Therefore, digital marketing is important to your business.

Whether you’re a new brand, or a well-renowned one, Shopify makes it easy for you to digitally market your business. Options that support SEO-friendly techniques for your website, SEO-friendly product reviews and email marketing are just a few of the things you can do via Shopify. It makes it easy to buy, sell, update, add, remove, manage, and list across multiple sales channels.

For you to fully optimize your Shopify store, you can leverage on using attractive and powerful images as well as make the most out of link buildings to increase your ranking. Also, there are different plugins available for your use. Meanwhile, you can measure your online store’s performance by using Google Analytics. As for knowing if your pricing strategy works, you can conduct split tests.

Infographic by: Websitebuilder

Now, you’re ready to get started!

For an e-commerce business to be truly successful, you have to create a strong brand personality, let your website stand out through a custom theme and allow customers to quickly reach your brand through effective digital marketing.

Shopify simplifies the process of setting up an e-commerce site for any business owner. You can find everything that you need to promote your products and business online on Shopify – from hosting your website, customizing your themes as well as processing your orders.

If you need help with creating custom themes or online marketing for your Shopify store, 2Stallions can help. As a Shopify partner, we have the expertise to help you develop your Shopify custom theme, or drive traffic and increase your online sales. Request a quote now!

Storytelling has been a part of ancient human tradition for as long as we can remember. From paintings etched onto cave walls to modern bestselling novels found in bookstores, it remains an important part of human communication.

Storytelling is effective in helping people remember things easily as it helps to paint a picture in their minds. It also often pulls on their emotional chords, helping them to relate better to one another.

This is why some of the world’s biggest brands are the best storytellers. They’re able to package their brand stories in well-made, emotionally-packed and empathetic narratives. They deliver them in the form of marketing campaigns that allow them to touch upon their audiences’ sensitivities, creating a bond of friendship and reliability. There are plenty of things to learn from some of their most successful video storytelling campaigns.

Emotion and Empathy Guides Every Consumer Step and Decision

Emotion is a universal language. It makes it possible to enjoy music regardless of language. Empathy is the understanding and sharing of emotions between two individuals.

Businesses that can create strong emotional bonds, as well as unique and authentic connections with consumers, have more than double their lead generation and conversion rates. When compared to rational and combined rational and emotional marketing, focusing simply on emotions in storytelling deliver the highest success rate for any campaign.

Read: Brand Storytelling in a Nutshell

Seven Great Video Storytelling Examples and Key Takeaways

Airbnb: Authenticity

Airbnb, the world’s leading property-sharing platform, always focused on the idea of “living like a local.” The chain’s objective to break the boundaries between travelers and countries to make foreign lands feel like home is manifested in their brand storytelling campaigns. They let the two sides of their customer chain, the property providers, and the bookers, to share a unique experience together.

In this light, Airbnb positioned itself as a “friend” who refers you to this reliable fellow with a home who guarantees a great place to stay. In addition, the brand guarantees an experience you’ll both never forget.

In its “Based on a True Review” playlist on YouTube, Airbnb has a collection of true stories from hosts and customers. One of the best ones includes a customer who got lost finding her initial host and ended up finding a new one and received the same great experience thanks to Airbnb.

Given that hosts and customers are real strangers interacting directly with each other, the resulting stories in the videos show authenticity in the emotions and happiness felt by both parties in each video.

Adobe: Nostalgia

When you say “Photoshop,” you cannot help but think of Adobe. The product name has become synonymous with photo editing and manipulation it has become a verb (just like the term “Google”).

Adobe has marketed its products through instructional materials in the past, but its 2016 campaign featured the recreation of a nostalgic character: Bob Ross. Millennials, the generation adept at new and upcoming technology, had a penchant for nostalgia and liked the 80s recreational painting host’s show. Adobe was quick to move in on this trend.

The brand did not cut corners in finding the most authentic and convincingly nostalgic way to implement its “Joy of Sketching.” It went as far as to use children’s book illustrator Chad Cameron to play the Adobe-style Ross and worked with Bob Ross Inc. to ensure the video measured up to the standards of the old recreational instruction videos.

Chevrolet: Heartfelt and Touching

Chevrolet, an American car brand, had an idea. It would use a woman and her dog in its one-minute video commercial. You might think “But what does a dog and a woman got to do with a car?”

Chevrolet used the heartwarming storyline of a woman’s relationship with her dog to allude to Chevy’s campaign tagline: “A best friend for life’s journey.”

The idea was unconventional and broke the stereotype of car ads always being about speed and performance. It used the storyline to evoke warm and fuzzy feelings which helps to capture the customer’s attention and keep them watching. Instead of blatant advertising, director Lloyd Lee Choi wanted to create compelling content to make the brand more relatable to its customers.

However, the emotional ride allowed the brand to evoke empathy in its consumers and like Maddie’s owner (or vice-versa) they will always be there looking out for their customers.

Nike: Inspiration

No one will ever forget Nike’s famous tagline that won its seat amongst the biggest shoe brands in the world: “Just Do It.” The powerful tagline, coupled with inspiring stories, makes a shoe and sports brand capable of firing up inspiration in almost all its commercials.

In one of its campaigns, the “No Excuses” commercial featured wheelchair basketball star Matt Scott. The top athlete who plays for the Warhawks was born with a condition called spinabinifida, making him wheelchair-bound. The video shows his story as he went on to lead the Warhawks to three national Wheelchair Basketball Association championships from 2004-2007 and having taken part in the Paralympics from 2004-2012.

The message is clear from Matt in the video: if you want something, you’ll do everything. No excuses. It is another way of saying “just do it,” but just as powerful.

TED Talks & Education: Innovation and Ideas

TED Talks and Education’s style is to get an inspiring individual to share his or her struggles and explain the methods and mindset he or she has used to achieve success.

If it’s not about an individual, they talk about different topics that encourage viewers to think. Their “Schools Kill Creativity” video raises the idea that a point system in class encourages a reward system rather than a learning system. Another video such as the “Power of Vulnerability” shows why weakness is as important as one’s strength.

These fact-driven inspiring talks continue to gain views over the years, keeping viewers watching for longer, moving from one TED Talk to the next, or even sharing short clips with their network on social media. TED Talks truly inspire engaging and shareable content.

FCA: Strange But Memorable

In the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is not a brand name but a government body that regulates banking activity. In the last few years, the country’s bank industry plunged into disarray due to its oversight after millions of UK borrowers purchased an insurance policy they were ineligible for, egged on by commission-hungry bank employees.

The decades-long financial scandal came to an end in 2017. The FCA had a plan to ensure each borrower could make a claim. In their communication campaign, they used a fake, disembodied head of Arnold Schwarzenegger on tank tracks, telling people to “make a decision” and “do it now.”

The surreal yet funny video definitely paid off because by April 2018, the campaign helped boost claims numbers by 40% according to the FCA. This shows that sometimes the strangest things burn a deeper impression into our minds.

Usher: Interactivity

Usher’s “Chains” music video is an amazing example of its potential to become more than just a passive medium that you can play and pause at your heart’s content. Music videos aren’t exactly the first niche you would think of when it comes to ground-breaking video ideas. However, Usher and his team looked beyond the idea of using images to spread his message. “Chains” music video, hosted on a website, urged viewers to keep on watching.

It was iconic because the video does not simply show Usher singing and dancing. Instead, it shows photos of police brutality victims while the music plays. If viewers turn away, the music will stop. The site does this by asking users to turn on their webcams prior to watching the video (and it won’t go forward unless they do). The webcam uses facial recognition software that stops the music if it detects the user looking away.

The interactive video received 500,000 viewers in just four days, with an average of two minutes and 30 seconds spent on average. It became a huge sensation across the web and made headlines, too. Talk about harnessing the power of video and holding someone hostage (or in “chains”) to ensure they’re glued to the screen for the entire video and boosting his personal brand.

Wrapping Up

Video storytelling is a powerful medium because it combines dialogue, text, audio, and visuals in a single consumable item the brain can process in a short amount of time. Through emotions and empathy, any brand with a compelling video can create an authentic connection with their customers, helping them improve their brand’s recognition, relevance, and overall performance.

These seven examples from the world’s top storytelling brands serve as excellent ways video remains a key part in building your brand story. It’s easier to evoke emotions when you’re engaging your audience’s senses through powerful visuals, content, and sound, helping you leave a longer-lasting impression.

When was the last time you updated your business website? If it has been more than six months, it might be time for a business website revamp.

Your site is your online beacon as it helps customers find information about your company. Before updating it, analyze whether its current design and content are still aligned with your current business objectives. Having business objectives helps you estimate the needed budget for the revamp and the possible Return On Investment (ROI) it could provide if it achieves its purpose.

However, this is easier said than done. The digital landscape is constantly evolving so it is important that your website keeps up with the trends. One recent trend that has picked up rapidly over the years is the way consumers access the internet. In Asia Pacific, 54.7% of internet users access it via their mobiles. So if your website is not optimized for smaller screens, it will not do well for your brand.

Making sure your website is mobile-optimized is a great starting point. However, if you’re wondering what other criteria qualifies your business website for a revamp, you’ve come to the right place. In fact, 2Stallions can do a free analysis of your company’s website to help you decide (just click on the widget to the right of your screen). In the meantime, here are five signs of a failing website to look out for.

Five Ways To Know Your Site Needs A Revamp

1. You Own a “Dinosaur”

It is not just small and medium enterprises that need to revamp their websites from time to time. Even tech giant Apple, with its recognizable logo and brand, constantly evolves its website with almost every new release, such as an update on the iOS.

apple-business-website

Apple’s Dinosaur Website (Image by: CNN)

The way people consume content has changed. If your UX design does not keep up with the times, your website becomes a dinosaur – something prehistoric and outdated sitting on the internet. Having a dinosaur website gives customers the impression that your business does not keep up with current best practices. It also sends a message that you are not forward-thinking and your business is not concerned with covering all their online bases. People will assess the level of professionalism of a business website in the way the copy is written, how symbols are organized, and if access to all information is easy and convenient. Just check out the evolution of iOS below by 7 Day Shop.

With that being said, a modern website should have the following features:

Excellent Navigation and UX: A positive user experience leaves a mark on audiences. If a user finds it easy to navigate through your website and find all the needed information online, it not only aids their online experience with your brand but encourages the idea that you are an authority on the subject. Smooth navigation coupled with excellent information creates a professional tone for any business website.

Consistent Blogging: Blogs add personality to businesses and corporate websites because the enterprise’s officials and other well-known personnel can share their thoughts, opinions, ideas, and other statements in this section. People love to hear from the people behind brands, their struggles and how they solve problems, as it humanizes the brands and adds to better customer experience. Read “21 Reasons Why Your Business Should Start Blogging” for more.

Addresses Customer’s Concerns: Leave a channel for open communication with your customers. Without a feedback where they can raise concerns on the business products and services, or a way for customers to contact you online via a form or chatbot, customers that cannot get in touch with you might drop off, leaving you with the loss of potential leads.

A website lacking updates after one to two years definitely needs a revamp immediately.

2. Can Your Website Be Found On Google?

Google takes up the majority of search engine traffic when compared to Bing or Yahoo. In fact, Siri switched from using Bing to Google as its default search engine, to provide a consistent web experience as most users use Google to search for information. It is therefore important that your business website is “Google-able”, or easily found on Google, in order to keep up with your competitors.

The easiest way to find out is, of course, to search for your brand name in Google. For example, if you do a quick search on our company name, “2Stallions,” you will find it appears as the first search result.

READ OUR ARTICLE ON RANKING #1 ON GOOGLE HERE!

If you want to check whether or not you’re getting traffic from relevant keywords, you can analyze data from Google Analytics. Here are a few steps on how you can go about it.

1.           Create a Google Analytics account

2.           Create a custom report

3.           Create a Metric Group

4.           Add the following metrics in the “Metric Groups” option: Sessions > Average Time on Page> Goal Completions

5.           In Dimension Drilldowns, add your homepage

analytics

Google Analytics (Image by: Cloundfront)

Do a little research on what the industry norm is for the average number of visitors you should get for your business website. From there, decide if your business is receiving traffic that way below the average. If it is, it’s probably time to revamp your website and get visitors back on your site.

3. Does Your Website Work FAST On Mobile?

A slow-loading website negatively affects your bounce rates. Most users want to find the information they need quickly and will navigate away from your website the moment it takes more than two seconds. Older websites, with uncompressed assets that take a longer time to load, have the highest bounce rates compared to newer and optimized websites. You can measure your website’s loading performance with Google’s free Page Speed Insights utility.

If your page speed score is below 30, you need to renovate your website. Having a score of 70 and below is a sign you need some minor renovations. A score above 70 means your site is doing well so keep it up!

Google’s “Mobilegeddon” may have taken some businesses by surprise, but the tech giant encouraged sites to have a responsive format. Their prediction became true; in 2017, majority of people were using their smartphones to search for information. Smaller screens are the reason why table-formatted sites have become obsolete as they are difficult to navigate with thumbs. Responsive formats use columns and adjust their elements’ sizes accordingly when the window is resized or if they appear on smartphone browsers.

mobile-website

However, even if you have catered to the mobile generation’s needs, you still have to beat out the competition. To know if your website is performing excellently in mobile, you can use Google’s Mobile Test utility.

4. Are You Finding Trouble with Content Management?

Before WordPress, sites needed a website designer to upload content and images. Today, Content Management Systems (CMS) have made the job easier. These systems are truly powerful especially today when content is the most valuable part of any website. A well-organized content system does wonders for your SEO and the overall website experience.

If you’re using WordPress, you can find some great tips on content organization and management from our WordPress Development Page.


wp-dashboard

WordPress Dashboard (Image by: Wikimedia)

The speed of content production is linked to your marketing efforts to drive demand for your product or service. If you are seeing great demand for your brand’s wares, you need to deliver regular content that aims to inform and educate potential clients.

If your website is still in version 1.0, it’s probably dependent on the original site developer to inject new posts and content. This will not do well in keeping up with the demands of marketing efforts and consumer needs.  CMS may look daunting to use at first, but with a little bit of training and reading up on the manual, it can help improve things significantly for your business.

5. Poor Call-To-Actions (CTAs) & Support

A call-to-action (CTA) is a “trigger” button or phrase that directs or urges the reader to take action on your site. For example, you may come across a phrase in a website like “Click here to begin.” This phrase indicates to the user that they just need to interact with the link in order to begin something. CTAs can come in many forms, taking the shape of buttons, to bold text in attention-grabbing colors.

Your landing page is similar to the entryway to a showroom or promotional kiosk. You want it to grab attention and you’ll want it to answer the primary questions audiences have about your offers. You’ll also want it to urge consumers to take action and ultimately make a purchase.

This is where design comes in. A landing page uses its design to its advantage to perfectly position its CTA buttons, has a convincing message that asks for an action, and displays all elements with respect to visual hierarchy. Take a look at 2Stallions’ home page below. The headline is in bold telling our customers what we do. The tabs at the top of the page tell people where to find content they’re looking for and makes it easy to navigate from one page to the next. Our CTA is in red, urging people to take action and get in contact with us. Simple, yet effective.

 2stallions-website

Your website must also offer support to returning customers that may have questions on the site functionality or complex issues that they have with the products or services. Having a Live Chat service can aid them not only by informing, but also to help in building brand trust and proficiency regarding the topic. Remember, brand trust helps bring in more customers from your current network.

Wrap-Up

A visitor to your website typically demands the following things: 1) load quickly, 2) be easy to navigate, 3) be informative through content, and 4) guide the consumer’s actions.

Your website is the physical equivalent of your promotional venue or showroom. These five signs are important prognostics that would help you assess if your business website has an outdated and poor design. Remember, if your website is older or has gone through one or two years without a revamp, it’s time for one.

If you’ve read this article and are thinking “Damn, my business needs a website revamp right now!” but are feeling overwhelmed, we can help! 2Stallions offers a free website analysis using these five criteria for our clients.

A company website is one of your customer’s first touchpoints with your business. It is a powerful marketing tool that can help make or break a lead. It tells the story of your brand, showcases your products and services, provides a platform for customer feedback and expands your reach across borders.

Determining your company website objectives based on your company’s short and long-term goals is crucial as it helps you measure your ROI. Analytics programs also allow you to collect data about your customers and how they behave on your website which helps in tweaking your strategy to improve your website effectiveness.

Sounds simple? It is! However, in a survey done by Clutch, 29% of small business owners still don’t own a website. Out of these, 31% cited using social media profiles instead of a website while 25% attributed it to a lack of technical knowledge as the top reasons for not having a website.

Image by Clutch

In Southeast Asia, more than half of the population use the internet to find information that provides a solution to their queries. Having a website allows businesses to create and leverage content that will interest consumers regarding their brand’s identity and offers.

5 Crucial Steps That Will Aid Your Company Website’s Pre-Development Phase

1. Know Your Enemy (or Competition)

The best way to learn what a good website looks like is to look at your competitors. Analyzing the competition’s website design, functionality, and practices are vital to ensuring your own business website gets off to the best possible start online. You want to learn what works and what doesn’t in attracting your customers to your website and creating a positive online customer experience through their success. Here are three tools that can help you suss out the competition:

  1. SEMrush.com (Limited Demo): SEMrush gives you an overview of your competition’s organic and paid searches, their backlinks and unearths other competitors in the space.
  2. I Web Check: Provides a detailed SEO report you can run for your competitors to find gaps that you can improve on and apply to your own future website.
  3. Rank2Traffic: This tool shows you the competition’s traffic, including their engagement and keywords they typically use to find the competition.

2. Creating Your Customer’s Persona

Creating your customer persona means defining what your ideal customer looks like. You would need to identify the who, what, why and how of your customer.

Demographics: This covers the “who” of your customer persona. Go through your customer database and pick out the trends in their demographics and background – age group, gender, location, etc. By finding out these information, it would help you create the right messaging to appeal to the audience that you want.

Psychographics: You would also need to know what your customer motivations and challenges are and why they face them. Set up interviews with your top clients and note down quotes that help you understand the language they speak and how to craft the right message.

Once you have gathered these information, you can create your customer persona. If you need help in getting started, download our customer persona template here. [insert download]

3. Map Your Customer’s Digital Journey

Most businesses invest in websites with designs that make for an excellent or unique user experience. However, gimmicks are not everything in selling products or services; it also involves understanding the other areas of your website that users find trouble understanding or navigating.

Here are two things your customer experiences when they visit your company website:

Intent: Understanding your customer’s intent to visit your website allows you to position certain elements that will interest them regarding your offers. For example, as an air-conditioning repair company, audiences might take interest in general DIY cleaning tips, which urges them to subscribe to your newsletter. To urge them further on their customer journey, you can create specific HVAC-brand cleaning tips that you can send directly to their emails.

Obstacles: If your landing page has frustrating navigation issues or even fails to load, customers will look elsewhere for their solutions. If the content on your company website fails to convey your offerings due to difficult terminologies or writing styles, then customers will definitely “bounce” from your site.

The best way to know your customer’s journey is to conduct a survey with a decent sample size to try a test version of your website before launch. Perform an interview or automate it by measuring the customer’s journey length, pages that gain more attention, areas audiences typically stop browsing, links the get the most clicks, and attention to different forms of media present in the website, such as photos or videos.

4. SMART Website Objectives

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound, and each of these items are crucial when setting up goals for your site.

Specific

What exactly do you want to achieve with your website? Be specific with your goals by attaching concrete numbers such as increasing the number of qualified leads by 10% or improving conversion rates by 5%.

Measurable

How do you intend to measure the effectiveness of your website? If your objective is to achieve brand awareness,  then the number of visitors to your website matters. If it’s to collect leads, then having a contact form helps you track the number of leads you’re getting.

Attainable

Ensure your goals are realistic. Data you collect from analysing your competitors help you set attainable goals for your site’s conversion rates, brand retention, or overall impressions.

Relevant

Your website goals need to match your business goals. For example, if your business objective is to grow sales by 25%, your website objectives can be to contribute to 10% of the overall increased sales.

Time-Bound

Set a deadline for that goal. Are you able to achieve the results you want from your website in 6 months or do you think you need a year? If you’ve not set up a website, you won’t have data until after the first month is launched and often, you might need to tweak the design of your company website and continue optimizing it till you get it right. So be sure to factor those in when setting your goals.

5. Determine Company Website Purpose

Once you know what your customer needs and have set goals for it, you’re ready to determine what purpose your website will serve your business.

Your website can be one of the following:

An E-Commerce Platform: If you are selling products to users, especially B2C, e-commerce is something you might consider. An e-commerce platform allows users to directly purchase products from your website so ensuring the whole buying process is smooth for your customer is key. For example, Avery Online has a wide product range of stationery products. To showcase their diverse range and make it convenient for their customers to buy their product online, they engaged 2Stallions to develop their e-commerce website. You can work with us or with any other Digital Marketing Agency for your own website.

Service-based Websites: If you’re selling services, then e-commerce is not ideal. Instead, the purpose of the website would be to help tell your brand story and attract customers to want to engage your services. Your website needs to be positioned as the dependable, trustworthy and experience and your website needs to communicate that. This was the case for IBULK Singapore, a dry bulk shipping consultancy company, whose main offering was its consultancy services in chartering, operating, project finance and sale and purchase. Check out their website here.

Blogs: Blogs help you attract a regular audience to keep coming back to your website to read and engage with exciting content. The content needs to appeal to your customers and be regularly updated to maintain a constant stream of visitors who revisit your website. It’s perfect for building brand loyalty or a community.

When determining your website’s purpose, make sure to focus only on one function that would strongly benefit your customers. Once your website is up and running, and you have collected enough data about your customer behaviour on your website, then you can focus on improving or expanding the purpose of your website.

Wrap-up

It’s important for every business to have a website, no matter how small but it can be quite daunting if you don’t know where to start. It’s not that difficult to if you start by analysing your competitors, identifying your ideal customer persona and mapping out your customer journey first. These are crucial to developing SMART goals that help you determine the purpose of the website. This helps you have a clear picture of what you want to achieve with your website. With all these information in hand, you will be ready to start developing a website that is efficient and meets all your business goals.

What other data do you think is vital before you develop your business website? Write them down in the comments section below!

Empowering, challenging, dynamic.

At least, that’s how Ingrid describes her internship experience at Singapore start-up, 2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency.

Hailing from Sweden, Ingrid Porat, jumped at the opportunity to intern at 2Stallions, a participating company in the KTH-NOC Singapore exchange programme by the National University of Singapore. As an engineering major, she knew nothing about Digital Marketing but was ready to take up the challenge as our first intern ever.

The allure of interning abroad in a faraway and tiny island called Singapore, scared her as much as it excited her. Yet, it turned out to be one of the greatest experience of her lifetime.

In just 6 months, Ingrid learnt a lot of different things from her Singapore internship that she could take back home to Sweden. From practical things like digital marketing knowledge to less tangible ones like Singapore food and work culture. She left with lots of good memories and a rewarding experience.

As her internship came to a close, she shared with us her experience as 2Stallions’ first ever intern from KTH, and what she really felt about the opportunity to do an internship in a small but bustling economy like Singapore.

Q: Describe 2Stallions in 3 words? Elaborate if you will.

Ingrid (I): Empowering. Challenging. Dynamic.

Empowering – From day one, you will be given a lot of responsibilities. They have very high expectations so when you manage to deliver all the hard tasks, you’ll feel a sense of empowerment. It will also make you feel more confident for having been trusted with the hard tasks.

Challenging – Your scope of work is broader and wider, so are the responsibilities. Since 2Stallions is a start-up, you need to work harder to make the business grow.

Dynamic – Everything is changing all the time since the digital landscape is constantly evolving. Opportunities come up, plans change and priorities get rearranged.

 

Q: How has 2Stallions differed from the other jobs that you’ve done?

I: My work experiences from Sweden are from companies like Scania and Ikea, which are very different in every way. It’s been a real learning experience and challenge. Since the company is much smaller than the previous ones I’ve been to, there are more responsibilities and also more opportunities. Things change constantly and you need to learn how to reprioritize things all the time. It’s hard because it is extremely different from what I am used to.

 

Q: Were your goals and expectations for your internship met?

I: The day before I was scheduled to leave for my Singapore student internship, I had final exams so I really didn’t have time dwell on my expectations. I arrived very open to everything. I am so happy to have learned about digital marketing and all the tools I can use for my future career.

One of the most important experience for me was learning how to work in a different country. It was harder [compared to working back home] but generally better, nicer and more fun. It exceeded all my expectations. Of course, I had to battle with a bit of homesickness but not as much as I would have thought. It’s been an adventure and one of the most fun working experience I’ve ever had.

Watch our interview with Ingrid and find out more about what she did at 2Stallions.

 

Q: If you could change something you did during your 6 months here, what would it be?

I: When I first started my student internship in Singapore, I was anxious about how the Asian culture works like – the hierarchy and politics. I didn’t speak up and bother the bosses about my work [in the beginning] because I was a bit scared. However, it seems like it was all in my head. They never told me that they didn’t have the time, neither did they do anything to intimidate me, really.

But [overtime], I learnt that when I spoke up and shared my ideas and opinions, they actually appreciated it. You are an asset to the company and they are interested in learning more about you.

So, if there’s one thing that I could change during my internship is that I wish I had spoken up sooner so I could have contributed more. Just be yourself and get to know the environment. See yourself as a resource and that you can contribute with a new perspective.

 

Q: What did you learn from your co-workers?

I: I’ve learned a lot from my co-workers – like how to work in teams and how the Asian culture works. However, I think the best I’ve learned from them is the ability to work with people from different cultures. We always work together as a whole team so I’ve really learned a lot, thanks to them.

 

Q: Any advice for students who will be interning in Singapore? 

I: If you plan to do a student internship in Singapore, you need to have confidence in yourself. You also need to work hard and try to see as many parts of the company as possible. Get holistic views because this increases your understanding of the work you are doing. Also, don’t forget to allow yourself to have time to explore the country.

 

Q: What about to students thinking about interning abroad but haven’t made up their minds?

I: I love Sweden to death, so I actually hesitated before leaving because I am so used to the great living conditions in my country and the very organized life I have back home. However, after spending 6 months in Singapore, I forgot about my initial hesitations. The whole thing was a huge learning experience for me that I didn’t even have time to dwell on homesickness. If I felt this way after my experience, I’m sure everyone would too.

 

Q: What’s next for you and how did 2Stallions prepare you for that?

 I: After my Singapore student internship at 2Stallions, I will be going back home to Sweden to start an internship at Scania, a truck manufacturing company for the rest of summer. After that, I’ll only have a year left of studying before I graduate and apply for jobs.

2Stallions has helped me understand what my education is about. I’ve been studying to be a problem solver so even in this situation (doing marketing instead of engineering), the skills I learnt helped me see how to best approach problems. But in more specific aspects, I’ve learnt a lot about diversity, remote teams, project management, and handling multiple responsibilities.

I’m grateful that 2Stallions has helped me grow as a person that has more confidence and self-esteem. I feel very positive now.

 

Note: Answers have been edited for clarity and structure.

 

Ready for an exciting internship in Singapore that pushes you to greater heights? Click here to get in touch with 2Stallions!

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