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Chris

August 08, 2017, 09:55:39 AM
It's almost time to move the domains to a parking lot (e.g. wordpress.com) and give up. Methinks the day of the 'generalised opinion forum' is over
 

Chris

July 22, 2017, 10:45:46 AM
Gawd... nobody at all now!! ;(
 

Chris

June 20, 2017, 09:46:14 PM
If I could get the newsletters working to let people know it's still going we'd get more posts... :D
 

kyte

June 20, 2017, 05:05:43 AM
"Quiet"???  Its DEAD, Chris.
 

Chris

June 18, 2017, 09:46:54 AM
Admin: Just because it's quiet dies *not* mean we'll allow spammers to take over. Desist please!! :D
 

Chris

June 06, 2017, 10:14:29 PM
Sorry... will attend to it tomorrow! :D
 

kyte

May 31, 2017, 05:50:57 PM
Nope.  Why are you letting spammers register, still?  If you dont watch out you'll get hit by the North Korean mob that hit cpaptalk.com
 

Chris

May 31, 2017, 04:07:26 PM
Sent a newsletter out to all members letting them know the site had reopened. I wonder if it worked this time? As far as I know the last mail didn't reach anyone! :(
 

Chris

May 28, 2017, 01:59:46 PM
So the site is back... thanks (sort of) to Jumba. Where did it go?? I updated the software and it crashed. I investigated and was told the server was using an old version of PHP (5.3) and we needed to update to Version 7.0. Why this wasn't done before s anyone's guess.
 

Chris

May 16, 2017, 01:51:28 PM
Ho hum... what's that song by Gilbert O'Sullivancalled??

Ah yes... "Alone again... naturally".  :D
 

Chris

May 12, 2017, 02:30:08 PM
I think 'everyone' vanished whilst the forum was down. It needs a bit of advertising. Question is *where* would be most effective?
 

Chris

May 12, 2017, 02:28:34 PM
I update to V2.0.12 yesterday but the new s/w hadn't arrived so I left it. Thanks for installing the new patch! :D
 

kyte

May 11, 2017, 07:10:39 PM
Updated forum to latest.  It was a patch for security vulnerabilities in the previous version
 

kyte

May 11, 2017, 04:30:42 PM
Yes it is.  Where is everyone?
 

Chris

May 11, 2017, 02:11:17 PM
Dead said the doctor.
Dead said the nurse.
Dead said the woman with the alligator purse.
But it wasn't!! :D
 

kyte

May 03, 2017, 06:16:54 PM
Lots of junk posts.  I dont think they are bots, just spammers looking for a way to tout their wares in forums which are effectively DEAD, Chris.
 

kyte

April 17, 2017, 10:19:50 AM
Gawd.  Dead as a dodo here.  Back to Whirlpool then
 

Chris

March 20, 2017, 01:24:44 PM
SO here we are again. It's been *months*. Sorry isn't really enough so I'll write a big post in a thread.
 

Jarrod

October 15, 2016, 03:20:20 PM
Guy here selling Certificates, Diplomas, etc. Should he be??
 

Chris

October 02, 2016, 08:48:58 PM
Actually BC... we're buying 65 acres down south and most is bush so lord knows what's living in it. :)
 

Chris

September 10, 2016, 08:14:16 PM
Re adverts. I inadvertently let the ClearTalk app expire and it took a day or two to sort out. Spam all gone again now :)
 

Jarrod

August 30, 2016, 08:27:49 AM
What the heck? Advertising?
 

Jarrod

August 02, 2016, 08:49:59 AM
Good to see you back, Bambu.  :)

bambu05

July 26, 2016, 06:09:42 AM
Chris, your house is sold...wonderful news.
The future in a new place awaits.
No more foxes and thorny scrub horror to negotiate.
 

Chris

June 25, 2016, 09:36:23 AM
Likewise. I had all sorts of plans for posting but real life has overtaken me again. Still, the house is sold and we'll be on the move soon so maybe I'll have time to focus. So many things happening out there too!
 

Minx

May 25, 2016, 08:34:18 PM
Hi Strangers
Been caught up with work and family related  *censored* for months now
There IS light at the end of the tunnel
 

Chris

May 24, 2016, 10:32:41 PM
I love looking at the forum stats (bottom of main page). They tell such lies!! :D
 

Chris

May 24, 2016, 10:16:39 PM
Good lord... not been in for 4 days. I'm slipping.
 

Chris

May 11, 2016, 07:09:59 AM
Hey Bambu... is Mel35m any relation? You seem to share a few ideas!! :D
 

Chris

May 08, 2016, 05:30:44 PM
Why do I get he feeling Beforesj isn't maybe all s/he seems??  :D
 

Chris

May 04, 2016, 07:31:04 AM
Star Wars Day. May the fourth be with you all... :)
 

Chris

April 27, 2016, 01:11:59 PM
Oh I do like the quiet... but I'd like to be disturbed now and then. Where *are* you all?? :(
 

Jarrod

April 22, 2016, 04:48:54 PM
Perhaps a few days early, but in case I am not around on the 25th...

LEST WE FORGET
 

Chris

April 21, 2016, 08:22:34 AM
No word from Alain. I wonder if that helped?? Might be nice to get some sort of response!!

Alain

April 19, 2016, 11:11:13 AM
I did it again, I hope that is more specific :(

Alain

April 19, 2016, 11:09:28 AM
I did it again, I hope that is more specific :(
 

Chris

April 19, 2016, 11:01:39 AM
Alain: I think you need to be more specific in telling us what you need. Australia ia a huge place. :D
 

Chris

April 19, 2016, 10:49:14 AM
Admin: Seems I forgot to register the "Log in with FaceBook" App properly. Should work fine now. If there are any problems mail me and I'll sort them out! :D

Alain

April 19, 2016, 10:45:52 AM
I don´t know if I done it well, thanks anyways :)
 

Chris

April 19, 2016, 10:37:38 AM
Alain: write a longer post in 'The Lounge' and we'll see what we can do. :D

Alain

April 19, 2016, 10:37:28 AM
homework, sorry
 

Chris

April 19, 2016, 10:36:26 AM
What's a hw??

Alain

April 19, 2016, 10:30:11 AM
Somebody can help me about a hw? It is about basic information about australia, like languages, type of coin, capital and those kind of things.
 

Chris

April 17, 2016, 07:46:41 PM
Looks like AO is back to being a giant blog again! Where *is* everyone lately:
 

Chris

April 14, 2016, 08:11:58 AM
Admin: There are 30 requests for membership form people who've not activated their accounts. I sent a reminder so we will at least learn if they are real... or bots!! :D
 

Chris

April 11, 2016, 07:29:45 PM
New member "Autobot' welcome... lets hope with new members we start to get a bit more active as we move away from the hot weather. :)
 

Jarrod

March 30, 2016, 03:41:28 PM
Which is what Turncoat is. All smoke - no substance.
 

Chris

March 29, 2016, 07:39:39 AM
Not much comment on DD until something actually happens. Right now it's all threats, smoke and mirrors!!
 

Patricia

March 23, 2016, 07:50:52 PM
Am surprised that there is no mention of the possible DD. I do wish TA would button his lip and let MT get on with his job as PM, possibly only for a very short time. :-\
 

Chris

March 18, 2016, 08:55:32 AM
Welcome aboard Rosco. Hope you enjoy your membership. There are very few rules as such here other than 'play nice'. Other than that... just comment on current affairs, what you like or dislike about your life and/or the world in general but basically, have fun. :)

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October 22, 2017, 08:10:03 PM

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Recent Posts

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1
Technobabble / What is E-Commerce? Advantages and Disadvantages
« Last post by limecommerce on October 19, 2017, 02:29:36 PM »
Are you thinking to open up your own online store and starting to sell products or service through the internet? If yes, then that is mean you are thinking about E-Commerce.

The birth of E-Commerce itself can be traced back to 1960s, where businesses started to use EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to be able to share business documents with another company. After the trend becomes more and more popular in the 1980s, eBay and Amazon started to rise in 1990s and started the revolution in the E-Commerce world.
Nowadays, you can easily purchase various kind of items online, with just a few taps on your smartphone.

E-Commerce advantages and disadvantage

E-Commerce pros:

•Getting new customers with search engine visibility
With brick and mortar store, you will depend on relationship and branding. However, with E-Commerce, you can rely on traffic from search engine too.

•Do not have to worry about geographical limitations
If you only have a physical store, then your marketing and service area will be limited by the geographical area. With E-Commerce, the whole world can become your playground.

•Find the product or service faster
In an online store, you can easily find what you are looking for by simply typing the name of the product and tap the "search" icon. You do not need to push a heavy shopping cart and wandering around the aisle again.

•Low cost
One of the main reasons why many business owners like E-Commerce is because it costs lower than the traditional physical store.

•Compare prices and products
With E-Commerce, it is very easy to compare prices and products. There are several online stores with multiple merchants inside, where you can get a particular kind of products with various qualities and prices.

•Save more time and cost
Sometimes, people are simply too lazy to go outside and buy what the things they want. Hot weather, heavy rain, or traffic jams often become their reasons to not step outside the home. In E-Commerce, they can visit their favorite store anytime they want, with just a few click of their mouse.

•Able to provide detailed information
The amount of product's information that you can show in a physical store is limited. It is also will cost you a lot to assign a staff for each aisle to help customers whenever they have something to ask or when they need help. In E-Commerce, you can add as many information as you see fit.

•Open almost anytime
With E-Commerce, it is possible for you to open your store for 24 hours per day, every single day. For customers, this means they will have a freedom to shop anytime they want. For a merchant, they surely will get more order because of their "availability".

E-Commerce cons:
•Lack of personal touch
Yes, you still can sell your products well without meet your customers in person, but some retailers are simply valued human relationship greatly. Different people have different preferences. The lack of personal touch in E-Commerce may or may not become your business's disadvantage.

•Some products cannot be purchased online
Online shopping its quite convenient, but even with all of those wide variations of products, some items just cannot be bought online. Like easily perishable products, or a product with odd size.

•Takes time for the ordered item to arrive at your home
When you go shopping at the supermarket, you can bring the item with you at the same day you buy it. In E-Commerce, you must wait for a several days before you really can use the product. Even with the fastest shipping option, you still have to wait for several hours.

•Everyone can set their own online store
It is possible for anybody to set up their own online store in a mere 10 minutes. So, if anybody can do that, how you can make sure the site where you purchase things is a genuine one?

This is probably good for the merchant, but you cannot say the same for the buyer. In the end, they will buy things from a famous online store only.

•You can not sample the item first
You can't check whether the shoe size is fit or not. You can't feel whether the fabric of the garment is soft or not. In many cases, customers love to "test" the products before they decide to buy it or not.

E-Commerce categories

There is more than one kind of E-Commerce:
1. B2B, or business to business. In this kind of E-Commerce, companies will conduct a business with another company. For example, a manufacturer sells things to distributors and wholesalers, who will sell them again to the retailers.
2. B2C, or business to consumer. This is the most common form of E-Commerce, where customers buy things from merchant or seller.
3. C2B, or consumer to business. For example, a designer freelancer bid one company's design project, and the company accepts the price. This is commonly found in freelancer sites like Upwork.
4. C2C, or consumer to consumer. This kind of E-Commerce is easily found in a forum, marketplace, or on an online auction site like Craiglist and eBay.

Getting started with E-Commerce

Do you want to start your own E-Commerce business and sell some of your products? If yes, then there are a few tools that you can use.

It does not matter even if you do not have any skills in programming because some platforms like Wordpress and Woocommerce are user-friendly and free. If you prefer something more flexible and complex, then Magento can be your ideal solution.

Do not forget to install several payment options in your online store. PayPal is quite common to use. Of course, you also can sell your products in a marketplace site like Amazon. They will be the one who handles the payment and shipping system for you.
If you sell physical items, do not forget to consider how you will ship them. You also need to do a research about the law in your area, whether you will need a special permission to sell things online or not.

Dropshipping is a good choice if you do not want to bother with production and inventory. Dropship supplier will send the products on your behalf, with your packaging and brand.
2
Technobabble / Logo Design - Tips To Create an Effective Logo for Your Brand
« Last post by limecommerce on October 16, 2017, 04:46:21 PM »
If you think designing a logo is easy, then you are mistaken. The process of logo design is more than just put the name of your brand on the top of a square image. This is also the reason why a professional logo designer is in high demand right now.

The first impression is important, and a logo will be one of the very first things the customers will see when they visit your online store for the first time. The logo can affect people's perception of your brand, their decision to purchase things from you or not, and their attitude towards your brand and products.

What is a logo and what it does?

Logo basically is a symbol made up of images and texts that help us to recognize a particular brand, especially the one we like.
 
The logo can do more than just being pretty:
•Logo helps identify important information about your brand and business
It can tell people about the kind of service or product you offer, your brand values, and your targeted demographic. For example, a company may use a particular kind of color or symbol to shows that they committed to becoming green or eco-friendly (like using the green color, leaf images or recycle symbol).

•Makes you stand out from the competition
This is probably the fundamental function of a logo. It gives you a unique trademark which differentiates your brand from competitors.

•Building brand recognition
A good logo can leave a visual impact on your customers, a reminder that your products and brand exist.

How to create an effective logo design

So, how you can create an effective logo design? Here are some tips that you can try!

1. Consider the placement of the logo
When you are creating a new logo or re-designing an already existing logo, do not forget about how the logo will be used and where it will be placed late. Keep in mind that your site is not the only place where your logo will appear. You may use it on a poster, newspaper ads, business card, or on social media ads. Think about how your logo will appear in both offline and online media.

2. Make it simple
It is important to keep your logo design as simple as possible. If you put too many elements in your logo design, it will be hard for customers to focus on your logo and they may unable to recognize your brand right away.

After all, a logo supposed to be a representation of your brand, not overcome it. So it will be the best to make them visually attractive yet simple and clean at the same time.

3. It should appeal to different kind of audiences
Whether it is a design, writing, or art, it should be easy to adapt and flexible so it can help you for the long run. That is mean, your logo should be dynamic, not static.

A rigid logo design will make no room for improvement later, which you may need in the future. I do not say you need to change the design of your logo every single week. At least make sure your logo has a flexible approach.

4. Do not create a copy of other design. Be creative
This is the most common advice for logo design tips, but people rarely followed it. If you want your brand and your products to be easily recognizable, be unique!

5. Understand your brand
The logo is more than just an image, it is an introduction to your brand. Your logo should be able to reach a specific audience. Make a point of what you think about your brand, and do your research.

What is the image of your brand? Is it serious or fun? What your brand's aspiration and what do your customers care about? Do not only focus on the latest design trend, stay true to your brand's personality too.

Know what your logo means. All logo have their own stories and meaning. For example, Apple's logo. They use the image of an apple which is missing a "byte".

6. Update it
Even the most flexible logo design cannot stay forever and need to be updated over time. If you want to always stay up to date, it is important to do a little tweaking to your logo design.

A number of changes will depend on whether your logo is able to bring more success into your business or not. If yes, then it probably not the best choice to do a total makeover from your old design. A simple remake or even just a change with the font color can make your logo more fittings with time.   

7. Pay attention to color
If you want the logo to show your brand's personality, you need to consider every single aspect of the image. Strong and bright colors may able to grab people's attention, but some people simply prefer colors with the soft tone.

Keep in mind that every color has different implication and can show your message in a different meaning.

•   Yellow is optimism and sunny
•   Orange is youth, creative, and friendly
•   Red is sexy, brave and bold.
•   Blue is professional, trustworthy and tranquil
•   White is simple, pure and clean.

The element of logo

There is no real "law" of logo's elements, but we can break it down into several categories:

•Image
Sometimes you can find a logo that consists nothing but image. The image itself can be anything, from a simple circle to a detailed art.

•Typography
Some logos come with text in it. It may just a single letter, a motto, or an abbreviation of the brand's name

•Color
A logo can be made with just one color, two colors, multiple colors, or even black and white.

•Context
In some cases, a logo can be defined by its context. So, think about how and where you will use that logo of yours. Most people put their logo on their site, business card, or they may print it as a flyer.
3
Technobabble / What is Web Marketing? Definition and Types
« Last post by limecommerce on October 13, 2017, 01:41:20 PM »
The Internet has changed various kind of aspects in our daily lives. From the way, we communicate with another person, to business (web marketing, SEO, etc), and technologies. Who would've thought that we can buy almost anything with just a few taps on your smartphone?

If you have your own business, then you must understand all the opportunities the internet can offer to you, and you must take advantage of them. That is mean, you need to hone your skill in web marketing, so you can reach more people as your potential buyers.

What is web marketing?

Marketing that done via the internet (online), is often called as web marketing or online marketing. More people prefer to do web marketing now because it's less expensive. Some kind of web marketing even free to do. For example, you can start a blog or upload your video on Youtube for free.

Web marketing types

There are several types of web marketing. Some of them can be used alone, and some only can work fine if used together with other types.

1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is a process to improve a site's rank in the search result with various kind of methods. It was done so it would be easier for people to be able to find a particular site. Basically, the higher the rank is the better.

SEO is quite important now. Why? That is because people use a search engine like Google to look for an answer or solution for their problems.

It is also not only about ranking and search result. A good SEO practice can help improve the usability of the site and makes it more user-friendly.

Search result on Google or other search engines is based on a complex algorithm. The algorithm will take various kind of factors to decide the ranking and the position of the sites in the search result.

In a simple way, SEO can be divided into 2 main stages:

•On-site SEO
On-site SEO is the rules that can be used on your site to make it more search-friendly.

•Off-site SEO
The methods that used to promote your site or blog so it can rank well in the search result.

2. Email marketing
Even with other newest form of web marketing, email is still considered as one of the most important types of online marketing. Email probably not as cool as it's younger partner, social media, but if you prefer something more private and direct, then email marketing is the best choice for you. This is also one of the reasons why email marketing is still widely used even now.

To make it work, you need to focus on the private aspect of the email's nature and treat your subscribers in a special way, more than non-subscribers. For example, you can give them special discounts, exclusive content, personalized offers, or other special things that non-subscribers can not get.

However, at the same time, you also need to be extra careful when you manage your email marketing system. Make sure your email does not violate the spam laws.

3. Pay per click ads
Pay per click ads or PPC is a type of web marketing where the advertisers will pay a fee everytime someone clicks on their ads. Basically, you will pay so someone visits your site, instead of relying on an organic result.

If you do it properly, PPC may become the fastest method for you to get traffic into your site. But if not, then you may waste away your money for nothing.

Keyword research for PPC itself can be time-consuming, but at the same time, it is also very important, especially if you want to do it properly. PPC campaign is built around keywords, after all.

An effective keyword for PPC should be :
•   Exhaustive
•   Relevant
•   Expansive

4. Blog marketing
What is blog marketing? Blog marketing is the process to reach your target market with a blog. Nowadays, it is easier for a business owner to integrate both of the website and the blog, so it will be easier to manage and easier for the customers to access.

Why should you use a blog for your web marketing tactic? Here are a few reasons why:

•   Help drive more traffic to your site.
•   Convert traffic into leads
•   Give you a long-term result
•   Help establish authority

5. Video marketing
As you may know, Youtube has become one of the most visited sites and also the second largest search engine in the world now.

Even though video production is not cheap and easy, but it will pay you big time. In fact, about 76% businesses say that video offers a good return on their investment. Besides, editing and taking videos are not that expensive right now. Some video editing software can be used for free, and you can make a decent video with your smartphones.

6. Social media
Now more and more people like to use social media platforms to promote their brand and products.

Social media marketing refers to the process to get more traffics via social media platform. There is various kind of activities for this kind of web marketing, such as making and uploading videos, posting images and text, and other content that can drive audience and engage them directly.

Before you decide to do your social media campaign, first you will need a plan. Starting a social media campaign without any goal in mind is like wandering in a forest without a map and a compass. It probably fun, but in the end, you will get lost.

7. Content marketing
Content marketing is a long-term web marketing strategy where the main focus is to build a strong and long-lasting relationship with the audience by giving them a good quality content that relevant with your products or brand.

A good and high-quality content marketing should be able to achieve these goals:

•Be discussed
People should be willing to discuss your content in their community

•Be shared
This is the main purpose of your content marketing. Let people share your content willingly, so you can get maximum exposure.

•Make sales
•Generate leads
4
Technobabble / Tips to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment
« Last post by limecommerce on October 11, 2017, 04:17:32 PM »
You may have heard the term of "shopping cart abandonment" before. So, what is shopping cart abandonment? Shopping cart abandonment is a term that used to describe a visitor who comes to a particular site but leave before he or she finished the desired action.

When a customer puts a product into their shopping cart, that isn't a guarantee he or she will buy that product in the end. Sometimes, something happened and your customer leaves without buying the product.

Why people abandon their shopping cart?

There are many explanations why one can leave products in their online shopping cart without paying. In fact, most of the reasons are quite similar to what can happen with a shopping cart in brick and mortar store.

The reasons why shopping cart abandonment can happen are:

•Confusion
Some people may get confused during the checkout process, can not find the button to go to the checkout page, or any user problems, so they give up midway and decided to leave their cart instead. This is why you must create an easy to understand checkout and payment process for your online store.

Do not assume if you understand, then your customers will too. Some people may take things slower than everybody else, so make sure to create a simpler checkout process.

•Impatience
In this fast-paced world, where you can buy almost anything with just a few clicks, most people do not want to bother to wait for more than 5 minutes in front of their computer for your checkout page to load. This is the same like choosing the shortest line in a supermarket.

•Indecision
Just like in a physical store, not all people who visit your site want to buy something. Sometimes, they just came to browse, checking to compare prices, etc.

•Caution
Some people still do not feel safe to shop online. They afraid the site they visited is a fraud, and their credit card gets used by an unauthorized third party or someone else stole their private information. They may get cautious if you asking too much information for their registration form.

How to reduce shopping cart abandonment rate

Here are some tips to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate:

1. Banish all hidden charge
Nobody like surprise charges. If you purposely hid a charge that only appears when the checkout process is done, most people will run away before they can hit the order button. It does not matter what kind of extra cost you need to charge to your customers, they have all the rights to know the details. If you unable to tell them the exact amount, you can at least give them an estimation of the total cost.

2. Make it trustworthy
People who shops online put a large amount of trust in the owner of the online store or brand when they decide to make a purchase. They are not only giving their money but also some of their personal information, to the people whom they never meet in person before. So, how you can gain their trust?

•Put some trustworthy symbols on your site, like PayPal verified logo or other well-known security symbols.
•Using a valid SSL certificate. Make sure to always keep your SSL up-to-date.

3. Offering flat or even free shipping
A study states that about 40% of shopping cart abandonment cases was triggered by a high shipping cost, and about 20% cases were caused because the seller never mentioned any shipping costs in the first place. If it's possible, try to offer flat or even free shipping cost to your customers.

4. Taking advantage of cart abandonment email system
When someone leaves the products in their shopping cart without paying at the end of the checkout process, usually they already put in their email address. Use a cart abandonment email system to send an automated email to remind them about their unfinished purchasing process.

Put the details of the products they left behind in the shopping cart with a call-to-action button to resume the process. If they do not react to your first email, try to offer a discount for their next purchase.

5. Make it accessible from anywhere
People can lose their interest fast if they need to retrace their steps back to another page just to find their shopping cart or to check what items they have put in there. Yes, it may be much simpler for the developer to create a separate page for a shopping cart, but customers may not be able to access their cart easily that way.

In order to fix this problem, you need to make sure the shopping cart symbol always appear from any pages in your site. Do not forget to put the list of the products in the cart too. You can either make it always appear all the time or only appear when the customers hover their mouse on the shopping cart symbol.

6. Offer checkout for guests
Do not even think to force your customers to register on your site just to buy a single product. Forcing them to sign up first will make the checkout process becomes longer, and they probably too busy at the time to do that. So, allow them to check out as a guest. All the information they provided will be used for shipping. You can offer to save their information for future order at the end of the checkout process.

7. Minimize the checkout process
People shop online because it easier, simpler and faster than shopping at a physical store. When they are forced to fill in a long, boring form with so many information in it, they tend to feel annoyed and leave before they can finish the process. You may think this is a small detail, but it is quite important for your customers.

Consider offering an express checkout system in your store too. That way, customers can go straight to the checkout page and fill in their payment information before finalizing their order.

8. Offer more than one payment option
Do not let customers cancel their order just because your store does not accept their credit card. Your online store should be able to accept as many payment options as you can. Do not only focus on Visa and Mastercard but use other third-party payments too like PayPal, etc.
5
Technobabble / How to Use Instagram to Boost Your Sales
« Last post by limecommerce on October 09, 2017, 02:20:15 PM »
There is various kind of social media platforms out there, and each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. It might be difficult for you to decide which platform is the best one for your brand and products.

As all of us know, Instagram is one of the most popular and widely used social media platforms that focuses solely on visual and images. Nowadays, Instagram is commonly used for E-Commerce and online business purposes, and its popularity keeps growings every single day.

Why use Instagram?

So, why Instagram? Why do not use another social media platform? Here are the reasons why:

•Mobile E-Commerce keeps rising right now
A research said that by 2020, mobile commerce will reach $284 billion. More and more people prefer to shop online via their mobile devices now, and it seems the numbers will keep rising from now on.

As you already know, Instagram focuses on visual and can offer a worldwide reach for your marketing purposes.

•Marketing in a more creative way
With Instagram, you can use unique photos and funny tagline that probably do not suitable for your web pages or advertisement because it won't be able to appeal to your targeted customers. You will have more fun and flexibility without afraid you may lose a large chunk of customers.

•Instagram videos can work pretty well with less budget
What's better than good pictures for your marketing? That is right, videos! Video can help boost your conversion rate greatly. It also can help boost your SEO.

•Easy to use
You do not need any rocket science to use Instagram. It is pretty easy and straightforward. Basically, all you need to do is looking up for pictures, create a tagline, and upload it by simply pressing the button. Creating something good enough for people to click likes and leave comments is probably the hardest part of using Instagram.

Tips to boost sales with Instagram

1. Only using high-quality images
As I said several times in this article, Instagram is a visual social media platform. That is mean, if you want to take advantage of Instagram for your E-Commerce conversion rate, you should post only high-quality images.

Not only that, your images also should be creative and eye-catching, so they able to attract people attention in the first glance. Make sure the images are able to highlight the positive points of your products too.

When your images are able to invite people to take a look at your profile, they can recognize your brand immediately.

2. Put relevant hashtags
Hashtags make it easier for people to be able to find your pictures. You are free to use as many hashtags as you want, but it probably will be the best to use three to five hashtags per picture. If you use too much, people may see you as a desperate one.

3. Show them how it works
Yes, high-quality images are a must, but sometimes that simply do not enough to boost your sales. In order to create more impacts, you need to show them how your products work. For example, if you sell fashion item like a branded bag, you can show them what the most suitable clothes and shoe colors to be used together with that bag, or how to take care of them in order to maintain it's quality.

Or, if you sell food products like snack or spices, show them unique ways to consume it. Give them free recipes that can turn your normal snack into amazing meals.

4. Create contests with interesting prize
For now, there is three kind of contests in Instagram:

•   Email-gated
•   Like to win
•   Hashtag UGC

You are free to choose any kind of contest that you want to use, but among those three, the hashtag UGC is the most popular and commonly used one.

Hashtag UGC is a contest where people need to post their own picture with particular requirements and hashtag in order to win. This contest allows you to former a deeper relationship with your customers because you will encourage them to create a unique visual generated content. It also can help to increase people's awareness of your brand and get more followers in the long run.

5. Respond to comments
Do not ignore any comments from your followers! Instead, you should take advantage of them. Comments mean that people like what they see and they want to know more about your products and your brands.

You also should respond to the comments as fast as you can. Do not take more than 24 hours to answer them. If you take too long, people may think that you do not hold the customers highly and it looks like you have abandoned them.

Conclusion

In the end, Instagram can help bring more sales for your E-Commerce, as long as you know how to take advantage of it. Of course, it also can be confusing and troublesome at times, but do not afraid to try new things!
6
Technobabble / Why Upgrade to Magento 2?
« Last post by limecommerce on October 05, 2017, 12:46:07 PM »
Magento now has become one of the most popular E-Commerce platforms in the market. It's all thanks to all the features and services. Now, with the arrival of Magento 2, various kind of responses comes from the Magento community. Some feel happy and excited for the change, while the others asking whether they really need to migrate their E-Commerce from Magento 1 to Magento 2 or not? After all, they already can get what they need from Magento 1.

Magento took about 6% of E-Commerce market share (with WooCommerce in the first place). The numbers keep increasing, especially after the release of Magento 2.

Why Migrate to Magento 2?

If you already using Magento 1 for your online store right now, then it will be better to just migrate to Magento 2 rather than keep upgrading your Magento 1 to the newest version, especially if you still using the older version of Magento 1.

Of course, Magento 2 has a lot of advantages when compared to Magento 1. Magento 1 was built to become a flexible platform. You are free to create an online store with whatever functions you want, either by buying and using pre-made extensions from the market or made one from scratch. This is also one of the main reason behind Magento's popularity.

However, at the same time, Magento isn't the most user-friendly platform. It missing so many elements, such as mobile-responsive aspect, performance optimization, etc. In order to get those elements, you will have no choice but to rely on third-party extensions/modules.

Lastly, Magento 1 also quite famous for its slow speed. Even if you can easily find various kind of tips and tricks about how to make your Magento site runs faster, most of the time it cannot help improve the core speed. This is why Magento 2 exist: to fix all of those problems.

Now, let's see some of the benefits that you can get from Magento 2:

1. An user-friendly checkout
Compared to Magento 1, customers will have an easier time when they do checkout process in Magento 2. The process is more straight and easy to understand now. The customer can do it in just a few simple steps.

This is not only can help make your customers happy, but it also can reduce shopping cart abandonment case and boost your conversion rate.

If your customers browse products without log-in first, or if they still haven't made an account, they will get redirected to the guest checkout screen where they can enter their email address and register as your customers. But if they already registered and just forget to log in, the system will automatically recognize their e-mails and they can checkout with their already saved information in a single step.

2. Faster and better performance
If you already spent so much time and efforts to improve your Magento 1 performance, then I am sure you will be happy to hear that site performance is one of the main focus of Magento development team for Magento 2.

When compared, Magento 2 can run 20% faster than its predecessor. All of us know that speed is very important when it comes to E-Commerce. A faster site does not only encourage higher conversion and sales but it also good for SEO.

Magento 2 is capable to handle large catalog without affecting the site speed at all. So, it suitable for both small or large online store.

This version made with full-page caching, which means all the pages will load faster, about 1-2 seconds faster compared to non-cached pages.

3. Better admin area
The checkout page is not the only one that turns more user-friendly in Magento 2. The same can be said for its admin interface too.

Magento 2 admin interface was designed in an user-friendly way to help reduce the time needed to manage the store and it much easier for your staff to learn how to use it in no time.

You also able to customize the admin interface based on your needs, so you can access all important information faster. It also easier to create a new product now, with faster import capabilities.

4. Wide choices of better extensions
Instead of Magento Connect, now you can use Magento Marketplace to look for extensions for your Magento 2 store. All the extensions that sold on that site have been monitored and checked specifically by the team from Magento developer. That is mean, all those extensions have gone through a strict review and approved by a professional team before they can appear in the marketplace.

You can rest assured that all the extensions you bought are the high-quality ones, and even if a problem arises later, you will get all the supports and helps you need.

Among all the available new extensions for Magento 2, two major inclusions must be PayPal and Braintree, the two of the most famous online payment platform in the world. Not only that, you also can take advantage of Worldpay and Cybersource extensions to enhance your online store security. So, use them well.

5. Mobile responsive
Nowadays, responsive is the keyword for E-Commerce success. Your online store must work well on mobile devices too, not only on the desktop. That is why Magento 2 comes with mobile responsiveness feature in its core. It not only has responsive themes, but it also comes with mobile-friendly checkout system and integrated video feature. Even the admin panel already touchscreen friendly, so you can easily manage your store from your smartphone or tabs.

6. Constant update
If you use Magento 2 as your E-Commerce platform, you do not to worry that you will fall behind as the system always get an update once every 3 months.

That way, you can always stay up to date with the newest technology to keep your customers happy.

Conclusion

Magento 2 is worth all your time and attention. It has all the benefits that you can get from Magento 1, with better and faster performance.

The process to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is not a straightforward process, but it is not that hard either. If you are not sure you can do it yourself, you can always ask for professional help!
7
The Lounge. / Packaging Tips for Your E-Commerce Products
« Last post by limecommerce on October 03, 2017, 01:07:33 PM »
Do you know what is the main purpose of product's packaging? The packaging does not only act as a "skin" that protect the products from outer elements, but it also should be pretty enough for people to buy it.

People tend to buy things that able to attract their attention and liking. If your product was wrapped in a badly arranged packaging and looked shabby, there is a high change the customers will just skip your products to look for a better-looking one, right? That is why good design is very important when it comes to product packaging.

Beautiful Design for Your Packaging

Of course, just speaking about it is easier than implementing it for real. Here are some useful tips how to attract customers with your packaging design.

1. Experimenting with more than one design
It does not matter how expensive the material you used for the packaging, or how unique it is if it unable to attract customers to buy your products. Do not feel satisfied with just one design. Try several designs and see which one can really boost your sales.
You can try from a smaller group of people first, like your family and friends. Show them your packaging design and ask their opinion.

Keep in mind that even if you think the design is pretty, there is a possibility your customers will not think the same.

2. Make it simple
Sometimes, less is more. Do not try to oversell your product from its packaging alone. Your packaging design should be able to perform what its made for, nothing more, nothing less. The packaging also should not hinder the shipping process and can protect the content well.

Remember, customers bought your product for the content itself, not for the packaging. A nice product packaging must have a strong visual on the outside, and able to explain the content so customers do not have to guess.

3. Be honest
Do not create a deceive packaging. Your packaging must present your product in the best possible way, without misleading customers. Yes, this may boost your sales, but at the end of the day, you will busy handling complaints from the disappointed and angry customers. So, your packaging must honest and speaks for itself.

4. Mind your typography
It does not matter whether you want to sell your products online or in a physical store, the text that written on the packaging must be easy to read and see. Your target market also determines the size of your packaging text. If you aim for older people, then make it bigger.

Do not forget to pay attention to your text color. It should blend nicely with your packaging's background color.

5. Aware of competition
Learn from your competitors. Study their packaging closely. What kind of design elements do they use? What color do they pick? How their design differ from each other? You also should take a look at your less successful competitors to see their flaws.

6. Make it friendly for environment
Nowadays, more and more people become conscious of how the products their bought can affect the nature. That is why try to use a recyclable material for your packaging. Eye-catching plus eco-friendly packaging surely will help boost your sales.

7. Protect the content
Product packaging for the online store can be a bit more difficult than products for brick and mortar store. You need to build it as flexible and as strong as possible, so your product can survive in any kind of scenarios. The material needed and the design of the packaging may differ based on the variant of the product:

•Envelope or paper
This packaging material can be used for a stronger product that will not get damaged even when you put it under the heavier item. You can use paper to package clothes, documents, letters, towel, books, etc.

•Bubble wrap
This material can help dampening vibration, but not pressure. You can use it to wrap small electronic products like a smartphone or computer hardware like a motherboard.

•Styrofoam
Styrofoam is very light and flexible. You can get it in various kind of shapes, like boxes shape, sheet, or small balls. Styrofoam box is strong enough to withstand pressure and vibration. It is also waterproof. You can use it to packing big electronic products, eggs, glass products, and another fragile item.

•Paperboard
Paperboard comes in different qualities and thickness. The thicker one is quite strong to handle pressure from outside. You can use paperboard together with styrofoam for maximum protection. A well-designed paperboard also can help raise your product's beauty.

•Wooden box
This one usually used as an extra protection and packaging, together with paperboard and/or styrofoam, especially for the delicate item like porcelain, ceramics, or expensive electronic products like TV and high-end computer.

8
Technobabble / Effective Ways to Use Social Media for E-Commerce
« Last post by limecommerce on September 29, 2017, 01:52:44 PM »
When it comes to E-Commerce, great ideas are not enough. If you and your online business aren't able to innovate, adapt, and do not try to understand your customer base more, you will get left alone behind, far from all your competitors.

In this modern and fast-paced world, online marketing and social media have become important elements of E-Commerce and online business. However, they are still many online business owners out there who do not pay attention to them or use them in a wrong way, so they bring negative impacts instead of the good ones.

In the past, social media probably not more than just a tool to get connected with your family and friends or to get updated news about celebrity or other famous people. Now, social media has completely changed the way we live. It does not only change the way we communicate with each other, but it also changes the way we shop online.

If you have an online business, there is no way you can stay inactive in the social media sites. Based on a research, about 75% people decide to buy something after they see it on their social media, and 90% people will use social media in order to decide whether they should make a purchase or not (by checking the review).

How you use your social media will depend on the characteristics of your online business. Thankfully, social media gives you the freedom to create a customized campaign, based on your business needs.

What Makes Social Media Become So Important?

Nowadays, E-Commerce is about how to make customers feel comfortable while they do business with you. Not to mention with the fast-pacing world, people get more and more impatient nowadays. It's thanks to all available technologies, we are able to get connect with anyone from any side of this world. Basically, we have the world at the tip of our fingers.

You can get the newest news update in a second, order an item and expect it to arrive 2 hours later, get your groceries to be delivered to your front door without the need to go outside at all! Why do you need to use the traditional method when you can do almost everything from the comfort of your home?

You need to take that kind of thinking into your consideration. How can you make your customers feel as comfortable as possible? First, you need to be the one who comes to them, not the other way around.

So, where you can find potential customers for your online business? Easy. Just look for them on social media sites. Do you know, Facebook users are about 1/7 of the world population, and there are more than 95 millions of pictures and videos that get posted on Instagram. With those fantastic numbers, there is no doubt that most people, especially millennials generation, spend so much time on social media sites.

With social media, you also will be able to reach your customers in real time. For example, if they have a problem or complaint, they can simply leave a message or comment in your store's social media. Depending on how you take care of the problem, it may help raise your popularity too.

How to Use Social Media for E-Commerce?

There are several ways to use social media for the sake of your online business:

1. Give interesting offers
Do you have any idea why your customers decided to follow you on social media? No, they didn't do that just because they simply like your brand and products. In fact, you may have high numbers of followers but with low to none conversion rate.

How to fix that problem? Give interesting offers to your customers! You can offer special discount or promo for customers who follow your social media sites.

2. Visual is important
If you frequently use Twitter, then you must know that a tweet with a good picture usually gets more response than a plain tweet with no picture at all. So does for Facebook and other social media sites. In fact, Instagram, one of the most widely used social media is known as an image-based site. So, why you do not do the same for your E-Commerce too?

3. Engage your audience
The main function of social media is to let you communicate with people directly no matter how far away their location from yours. It does not matter what kind of social media that you choose for your E-Commerce, you need to make a move first and engage your customers directly. There is no need to use your serious corporate tone. Customers want to feel "human interaction" with your brand, so give them that.

Here are some ideas that you can try:

•Make a pool or ask a question. You can also try to make quizzes with prizes.
•Upload "behind the scene" photos or videos. Like day to day activities in your office, or a record of a special event.
•Share news and content from other sources that still connected with your product or brand. For example, if you sell computer and gadget, share news about the newest technology that appears in the market now.

4. Headline is as important as the content
A great content will affect less than it supposed to be if you pair it with a lame headline. If your headline is unable to grab peoples attention, that is mean you need to either create a better headline or create a new one from scratch.

Create more than just one title. Try to post your content with different titles at once (for example, use title A on Facebook, and title B on Twitter). See which one gets the most response.

5. Follow back your followers
Follow back all of your followers. Find out where your customers hang out on social media. When it comes to social media, relationships are far more important than leads. Take your time to hear what they want to say, and offer the best solution for their problem.

6. Share at the right moment
This one may sound simple, yet many online marketers overlook this aspect. In order to reach maximum engagement, your content should be able to reach as many people as possible. So, post your content only when people are there - when they online and active.

Different social media sites may have the different rush hour time. You can either look for infographics that can tell you the best time to post on social media or do your own trial and research.

You also can use available marketing tools from the social media itself, like what Facebook and Instagram have.
9
Hi there,
My name is Kylie and I'm a Masters of Audiology student at Macquarie University conducting a research project.

The research aim is to learn about the ease of understanding, clarity, and trustworthiness of typical statements that might be made by an audiologist (hearing scientist). Please note that you don't have to have a hearing loss or have interacted with an audiologist to participate.

There is no cost to participate in this questionnaire and no payment on completion.

The questionnaire is anonymous and will take about 20 minutes to complete.
https://mqedu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8943ZYMPPbfyN4p

Your help would be greatly appreciated!
Please read the flyer below for more information.
10
The Lounge. / Re: Exploring Obsessive-Compulsive Phenomena in General Community
« Last post by Chris on August 09, 2017, 07:43:34 PM »
Any relation to Timothy Siu??

Shared it to Facebook btw...
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