Page Loading - The 8 Second Rule

How to Keep Your Online Customers Happy

It’s been over a decade since the formulation of the eight-second rule for e-commerce sites. The rule states that if a site doesn’t load within eight seconds, most visitors will leave and go elsewhere. After this most visitors will leave and go elsewhere. Most online retailers are aware of the rule and the importance of page speed monitoring to ensure their site loads quickly.

However a decade on, and particularly when visitors are using mobile devices, eight seconds is far too long to expect them to wait for a page to load. In addition, with so many demands on people’s time, visitors want to be able to complete a transaction quickly once they do gain access to your site. You have only one chance to engage your visitors, to give them the product information they’re looking for, or respond to any post-order concerns they may have.

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Three Ways to Help Stop Customer Churn

Three Ways to Help Stop Customer Churn

You probably know how important it is to convert a one-time buyer into a repeat customer because it costs you more to obtain new customers than to retain existing ones. According to the Harvard Business Review, depending upon your industry, it is up to 25 times more expensive to gain a new customer than to keep an existing customer happy to do business with you. Not only does customer retention cost less, but it also gives a tremendous boost to your bottom line.

According to international management consulting firm Bain & Company, increasing customer retention by 5% can lead to a 25% or more increase in profits. That is why reducing customer churn is so important to your company’s long-term financial health. Here are three suggestions to help you accomplish that goal.

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Fiver Considerations Before You Advertise

Five Considerations to Make Before you Advertise

If you have an e-commerce company, advertising is one of your costs of doing business. For some businesses, it may be an important way to generate traffic, sales and profits. You certainly want to get the most benefit from your advertising budget, so here are five points to consider before you make your next advertising buy.

Who are your customers?

The whole point of advertising is to communicate with your customers and motivate them to make a purchase. To do that effectively, you need to know a lot about them. What is their demographic? Do they live in a rural or urban area? What types of products or services do they purchase? The more you learn about your customers, the more creative you can be to tailor your ads to attract their interest.

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Focusing on Your Customers is the Secret to SaaS Success

Focusing on Your Customers is the Secret to SaaS Success

SaaSFest 2016 took place in Boston, Massachusetts in December. The theme for the latest SaaSFest was consumer satisfaction and 13 speakers gave presentations on the topic during the two days of the meeting.

David Cancel, Founder and CEO of Drift (a firm that developed a messaging app for sales teams), hypothesised that 50% of SaaS companies will fail because they still think of customers as leads and don’t spend enough time connecting with and listening to them. Cancel calls this approach SaaS 1.0, where companies focus mainly on their technological prowess. They “know” they’ve developed a useful service, so all they need do is market it. Customers will subscribe to the service and will be satisfied, and their companies will continue to attract new customers and grow. Cancel describes these firms as thinking of their customers more like names in a database than as real people with varying needs.

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New Feature : Dashboards

This week we introduced Dashboards – a brand new and much requested feature for our Business level users and above which allows the display of all vital monitoring data in one place!

Multiple Dashboards can now be created in-app, and with these it’s possible to display card type entries for Uptime tests, SSL tests, Page Speed tests, Domain checks and Server Monitors. Each card will display important information on the test and the smart summary at the top will allow you to quickly assess whether there are any problems.

The dashboard is ideal for big office screens and scales to most resolutions and zooms, each page can be customized in terms of which record types are shown at any one time, and there’s even an auto refresh function to keep the results live and fresh.

If you want to give this new feature a try you’ll need to be at least on our Business level plan, with that in place it’s possible to access this via the new “Dashboards” link in the in-app side menu.

Five SEO mistakes that hurt eCommerce Startups

Five SEO Mistakes That Hurt e-Commerce Companies

Effective search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial if you want to attract online traffic. According to content marketing firm BrightEdge, organic traffic accounts for about 51% of monthly visitors to e-commerce sites and far exceeds traffic from non-organic sources, including social media (5%) and paid searches (10%). You’re not realistic if you think your business will grow and prosper without a focused effort on SEO.

Unfortunately, many online retailers use SEO methods that hurt rather than help them. Here are some of the problem areas to avoid.

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How to boost your e-commerce site’s performance

How to Boost Your e-Commerce Site’s Performance

How to boost your e-commerce site’s performance

Now is the perfect time to be running an e-commerce site. More than half of consumers prefer to shop online rather than in high street stores, and for young adults in their 20s and 30s, that preference rises to about two-thirds. With numbers like those, it’s certainly worth spending some time evaluating and tweaking your site. There are many e-commerce sites, both big and small, that stand out from the crowd, and here are some ideas you can use to help you join them.

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Boosting e-commerce sales of hard-to-sell items

Boosting eCommerce Sales of Hard-to-Sell Items

It happens even to major e-commerce retailers. You have an excellent item that is well-made and should meet your customers’ needs and expectations, yet the item does not sell very well. Most online retailers will eventually place that item in their clearance section, yet often it still doesn’t sell. In fact, many retailers have well-made, well-designed functional items in their clearance section that sit for months before finally selling.

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How to Deal With a Bad Online Review

How to Deal With a Bad Online Review

If you have an online business, eventually, it’s bound to happen – you get a bad online review. Sure, a bad online review can ruin your day, but it’s not the end of the world, or more specifically, it’s not the end of your business. If you treat a bad review as an opportunity to learn more about your customers and how they perceive your business, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one.

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Appropriate SaaS Metrics for Different Company Stages

Appropriate SaaS Metrics for Different Company Stages

SaaS companies have many metrics available to measure their performance. The question is – which ones should you choose? There is no one ideal metric that you should use, and you can’t measure every available metric at the same time. Depending on where you are on your company’s growth path, there are different things you need to measure to get a handle on your company’s health. That is why it is so important to focus on a specific metric at each stage to ensure you are heading in the right direction.

Of course, you need to know which growth stage you are at to know which metric to use. Sometimes it is tricky to determine this, but it is crucial to know where you are on the growth path to avoid miscalculations that can cause your company to falter. Some companies overestimate their growth stage and try to scale up too quickly. If you act as if your company is at a higher stage than it is and do not use the metrics that are appropriate to your actual size, you will not have a sustainable business. Here are the five growth stages of a SaaS company and the appropriate metrics to use at each stage.

Very early stage

At this stage, you are building a business from the ground up, so you want to validate that you have a viable service that someone is willing to buy. You want to measure unaffiliated conversions – no friends or family members included, If you can get ten paying customers, that is a good indicator that you have a viable concept.

Early stage

At this stage, you’re trying to determine if you have a business that is economically sustainable. You need to measure your customer’s lifetime value (LTV) and your customer acquisition cost (CAC), and then calculate the ratio of LTV to CAC. The ratio needs to be at least 3 to 1 for your company to be profitable. If it’s not, your company is not sustainable.

Bridging stage

At this stage, you’re making sure that your business strategy is solid before you begin to scale-up and grow. You want to have a repeatable sales process in place, and you want to have an effective lead generation strategy. You want to measure your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and be sure you are meeting your revenue goals.

Growth and scale stage

At this stage, you want to measure your customer retention rate to see if you are building customer loyalty. You want your MRR gain from new customers to exceed your MRR loss from customers who stop buying your service. It’s much harder to replace lost customers as you grow, so you need to focus on providing excellent service and keeping your retention rate high.

Maturity stage

At this stage, you want to measure accurately your recognised revenue, which is the revenue you have received from customers for services you have delivered to them. You want to make sure you don’t include deferred revenue since you would be overstating your profitability, which could lead you to make unsound financial decisions.

Grow your company one step at a time, and use the appropriate metric at each step.