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The following are some of the greatest methods for reducing cloud service fees that are discussed in this article −6 Tips for Cutting Down on Cloud Computing Expenses
You can reduce your cloud computing expenses by following these guidelines.1. Check the Billing and Rate Details
The term “rightsizing” describes analyzing an organization’s computing needs and determining the optimal configuration of its computing services and cloud resources. Cloud service providers typically offer detailed invoicing information that includes service prices. During resource rightsizing, cloud resources are either increased, decreased, or removed according to how much they are being used. With this data, you can eliminate high-priced regions and cut costs immediately. The server, database, memory, storage space, and graphics can all be optimized using the correct rightsizing tool. Assess and prioritize the most expensive services and processes. Effective rightsizing prevents over-provisioning and idle instances, particularly in autoscaling public cloud systems like Amazon, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). By knowing how much the cloud actually costs, you can cut down on unnecessary expenditures and maximize your return on investment.2. Allocate Funds
Making sure everyone is on the same page with regard to project objectives and funding will help keep expenses in check. Fundamental needs are determined by the features and products that will be delivered in their base form. Picking a random number is always a bad idea. Instead, you should help engineering managers, product managers, and executives talk to each other about costs.
Plan your cloud computing approach with a monthly budget. Find out if it’s a trial or a paid plan, for instance. In order to effectively organize your spending and save money, you need a budget. Compare and contrast these needs with others, such as speed and resilience, as you design and build. Your organization’s specific circumstances may need a different spending plan.3. Locate Underutilized Assets
One of the easiest ways to efficiently optimize cloud costs is to discover underused resources. Finding detached and idle resources is a simple way to reduce cloud service costs. It’s easy to overlook the need to properly shut down and erase data from temporary servers and instances that have been terminated. It is not uncommon for administrators and developers to set up a temporary server for a specific task and then neglect to remove the server after it is no longer needed. Another possibility is that storage associated with terminated instances is forgotten by the administrator.
These methods cause bloated bills from cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure for unused resources that were previously acquired. These are typical real-world examples of anomalies that lead to increased cloud expenditures for businesses. Expenses can be reduced by using a cloud cost optimization technique to track down and get rid of slack resources.4. Locate Unused Assets
Finding and merging unused cloud computing resources is another strategy for cost reduction. A resource that is not being used but yet being charged for is a big waste that needs to be handled in order to maximize efficiency. Any business can benefit from optimizing its cloud costs by locating and removing these resources. Organizations are being charged 100% of the available CPU time despite using only 10% of the available CPU time for their current operations. Cloud service providers will still charge you for any unused resources. Finding and combining these tools will help you maximize savings.
Auto-scaling, on-demand resources, and load balancing are just a few of the cloud technologies that can help businesses expand their computing capabilities while reducing costs. In order to save money, it is important to identify unused resources and combine them. This tactic proves especially useful during peak traffic times or throughout peak seasons. To increase capacity on demand, you can use cloud capabilities like auto-scaling, load balancing, and on-demand access.5. Adjust the Scope of Services
Recommendations for adjustments can be obtained for all instances in a family by using rightsizing instruments. With rightsizing, IT departments may examine their computing services and adjust their configurations to maximize efficiency. It helps cut down on cloud costs and maximize cloud utilization so that you can get the most out of your money and hardware. A wide variety of memory, graphics, database, storage capacity, and throughput options make it challenging to manually size instances.6. Take Use of Reserved VMs Conclusion
The majority of large companies employ configuration management databases to keep tabs on their cloud services that have been labelled. With cloud cost optimization, customers may better keep track of their cloud spending while also maximizing their cloud’s performance in terms of transparency, productivity, efficiency, and creativity. Metadata can also be used to reduce wasteful spending and reorganize limited resources (i.e., lower underutilization thresholds for less critical resources). It is especially helpful to have more say over financial outlays now when services have been disrupted, and resources are scarce.
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Finding a void in the market and carving your niche according to the target audience can help you scale your online store and make you stand out among the other online merchants.
Statistics confirm that there are nearly 24 million e-commerce sites across the globe. So, if you are an e-commerce startup owner, it’s normal to feel intimidated by the overwhelming number of competitors in your niche. But remember that a crowded field is also an indication of the existing demand, making e-commerce a lucrative segment to be in.
The good news is that you don’t need to beat the e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, or Wal-Mart to taste entrepreneurial success. Finding a void in the market and carving your niche according to the target audience can help you scale your online store and make you stand out among the other online merchants.
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Here’s what you should do to gain a winning edge over your competition.1. Let your content do the talking
Great content builds interest and adds value to the target audience, thereby encouraging conversions. An interesting infographic by Demand Metric reveals that 80% of people appreciate learning about a business through the content on the site.
High-quality, engaging, and relevant content can persuade your site visitors to take action in your favour. Here’s how you can wow your audience with an effective content strategy.Have an awesome ‘About Us’ page
The ‘About Us’ page is the most important page of a website that can differentiate your brand from your rivals. Yet, this page is commonly overlooked by most businesses. This page is an opportunity to narrate your brand story to build credibility and customer trust.
Make sure your ‘About Us’ page tells a story of how your business evolved, shares your vision and mission, and explains who and what you serve. Include video content to render a human touch to this page, making the content easy to digest.
Also, try to ‘put a face’ to your venture by showcasing yourself, any member of your team, or your store. People want to connect with brands at a deeper level and this type of personal content will help them relate to your posts.
Notice how the e-commerce site, Cambridge Satchel Company has used its ‘About Us’ page to narrate an engaging brand story and inject personality while promoting its brand values. The firm uses high-quality photography and short copy to explain their humble beginnings. The tone is personal and subtly persuades visitors to either scan the timeline or know more about their offerings.Offer instructional content
Offering instructional or how-to content is a great way to engage your audience and fulfill their thirst for knowledge. E-commerce marketers use a variety of digital marketing strategies to boost traffic. But very few firms focus on offering instructional content. Offering how-to content will not only improve the traffic to your site but also lead your visitors down the marketing funnel, taking customer engagement to the next level.
Begin by doing some effective content research in your niche. Use content creation tools like BuzzSumo, Ubersuggest, and Google Alerts to develop content that sets you apart from your competition. Awesome instructional content should not only educate the audience but also present facts in an entertaining manner. Today’s digital audience loves engaging with videos and visuals. Keep that in mind when creating how-to content for your brand.
Notice how Home Depot, an online home improvement store, offers instructional video content to educate its audience.Encourage UGC
User-generated content can help you generate high-quality, authentic, and unique content for your brand, enabling you to outshine the competition Some 79% of customers share that UGC has a significant impact on their purchase decisions.
UGC is more valuable than any of the brand stories you share on social media. Begin by hosting UGC contests, engaging in social listening, and generating share-worthy content. Further, people often use social media to share their passion, interests, and achievements with others. Use social media tools like Facebook Audience Insights to get cues on user activity with respect to their demographics, page likes, location, and purchase activity.
Check out how Madewell, the online store for women’s apparel, heightens the impact of UGC by rewarding users to create content about their products. The stories are showcased on the #everdaymadewell gallery.2. Focus on the entire customer experience
Customer experience is not merely about the sales journey. Each step in the sales cycle and beyond offer an opportunity to make customers feel special, enabling you to differentiate yourself from the competition.
For instance, a captivating loyalty program can go a long way in enhancing the customer experience. Offering exclusive discounts for loyal customers or those who have shopped for a minimum amount can make customers feel special, thereby differentiating you from stores that do not offer such privileges.Sell solutions, not products
Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos obsesses over making the customer experience the number one priority for the organization. The e-commerce giant’s entire business model is about how best they can serve customers. To make your brand stand apart, you need to listen to your audience’s problems, offer solutions, fix issues, and enable them to connect to your brand.Focus on micro-moments
According to a Google study, micro-moments are intent-rich moments within the sales journey when the customer ‘wants to know,’ ‘wants to go,’ ‘wants to do,’ or ‘wants to buy.’
So, if a user searches for an American fast food joint, they expect Google to show a list of restaurants located near them. This user is having an ‘I-want-to-go’ micro-moment. In other words, micro-moments are loaded with the intent, context, and immediacy and the customer is ripe to take action.
To differentiate your brand, you should anticipate these micro-moments in your domain and commit to being useful during this time. For instance, researching where and when your audience searches online can offer useful insights about their search behavior and micro-moments.
So, if your products are seasonal, you should monitor when your prospects search for the offering. When the search spikes, you should launch an appropriate campaign like PPC to leverage the micro-moment.3. Build customer trust
Earning the trust of your customers is one of the most effective ways to differentiate yourself from the competition and scale your venture. But winning customer trust can be tough, especially when you are a new entrant in the market. Consider these tips to build a trustworthy online brand.Collaborate with other brands and influencers
Partnering with other brands (small or big) and influencers in your niche can add a degree of credibility to your startup and improve your online reputation. Reach out to influencers, micro-influencers, bloggers, and reporters in your domain to bring an authentic voice to your brand and foster trust.
Check out how ColorPop Cosmetics has collaborated with Shayla Mitchell, a beauty influencer with more than 2.7 million Instagram followers.
Use tools like Buzzsumo, Ninja Outreach, Social Animal, and VoilaNorbert to find influencers in your industry segment.Flaunt customer reviews
Reviews, ratings, and recommendations boost a brand’s online credibility. The Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal revealed that 78% of customers (and 91% of 18 to 34-year-olds) trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Thus, it is critical to flaunt the average ratings and customer reviews on your ‘About Us’ and every product page. Further, offer a small incentive like a discount or credit points to encourage customers to leave an online review for your brand.
Notice how Beardbrand isn’t modest about its customer reviews at all. They flaunt customer reviews on all product pages, thereby breeding trust among their target audience.Offer exceptional customer service 4. Offer multiple (but popular!) payment options
You do want your customers to complete the purchase transaction, right? Well then, offer a wide variety of popular payment gateways, ensuring a seamless and convenient checkout experience. Though managing multiple gateways and accounts may seem like a hassle, it’s worth including easy and secure options, such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Stripe, and the popular credit or debit cards.
Further, allow customers to save their payment information, ensuring a smooth shopping experience in the future.5. Have a generous return and refund policy
According to an infographic by Invesp, 67% of shoppers check a site’s returns policy page before making a purchase. So, if you aren’t offering reassuring returns and refund policies, customers will not buy from you. Further, the same infographic reveals that 92% of customers will buy again if the product return process is easy.
So, offering generous returns and refund policies will not only attract more sales but also strengthen the customer-company bond, enabling you to stand out in the competitive e-commerce space.
Check out Bonobos’ easy returns and exchange policy. The online apparel store not only offers free returns and exchanges but also goes on to share videos on how to make the process smooth.6. Offer flexible shipping options
The extra cost of shipping the goods is enough to dissuade your customers from completing their checkout process. According to the Baymard Institute, the extra cost of shipping and taxes is the number one reason why shoppers abandon the carts.
Offer free shipping on standard delivery, but charge a premium for expedited or time-specific deliveries
Offer free shipping on high-value orders. Apply shipping charges for low-value products or orders. This will encourage customers to purchase more to avail of the free-shipping benefit.
Use low-cost regional carriers or postal service to reduce the cost of shipping.Parting Words
Give your customers a reason to choose you over your competitors by offering flexible shipping options. Embrace free or expedited shipping to gain an edge over your competition. Here, we can learn a lot from retail giants like Wal-Mart and Amazon.
The competition in the e-commerce space is fierce and unforgiving. With millions of businesses plaguing the e-commerce segment, it can be tough for startups to differentiate their brand from the competition.
There is no easy way to scale your startup in this competitive environment. However, implementing the foolproof strategies shared in this post can make your brand stand out amidst a sea of e-commerce stores and rake in more dollars.
Ensuring network security is essential for any company, regardless of the industry. The constant technological innovations, data exchange, and interconnectivity of information systems have raised the risks of cyberattacks. The majority of businesses have already suffered many threats and will continue to be targeted as the number of attacks increases, with an estimation that cybercrime costs will see an increase of 15%, reaching $10.5 trillion by 2025.
It doesn’t matter if your company is large or small, network risk management is one of the most important things you can do to take control of your networks and the data shared between users in them, while also lowering the danger of cyberattacks.
Network risk management is an evaluation of the networks that your company and employees use on a daily basis. So, organizing a thorough risk management network evaluation is the key to finding, assessing, and responding to cybersecurity threats in your company. By combining and weighing numerous signals from a user, network, device, and other sources, risk management enables your company to make wiser decisions when it comes to authenticating the users. Once you’ve recognized and identified these risks, you can start organizing your data based on the weight of the risk connected with it.
In this article, you will find five strategies for performing effective risk management.Conduct a regular risk management
Regular risk management will help you in revealing potential vulnerabilities in your company’s security policies. Performing a regular and detailed risk assessment will give you information on the assets that need to be secured as well as the security procedures that are currently in place.
Additionally, it can assist your company’s IT security team in identifying areas of vulnerability that they should check, and prioritize which weaknesses to address first. Security ratings are an excellent approach to acquiring a real-time understanding of your company’s cybersecurity position, as well as that of third and fourth-party vendors.Hunt for threats
Threat hunting is a crucial stage in network risk management. This enables teams to manage attacks proactively before the threat comes into contact with their system. To carry out this hunt, teams rely on threat information to identify goals and attack methods.
With this information, they can launch block attacks to prevent hackers from infiltrating their systems. Threat hunting enables security teams to obtain a better understanding of prospective threat actors’ motivations and plans. It provides businesses with leverage and reduces the potential impact that attacks can have on them. It is a proactive strategy to better understand the threats lurking on the web.Set up network access controls
Following an assessment of your assets and the identification of high-priority problem areas, the next step is to implement network access controls to assist in limiting the risk of insider attacks. Many businesses turn to security systems that evaluate trust and user access credentials based on each person’s individual job function. This reduces the likelihood and severity of threats or attacks caused by employee negligence or a simple lack of awareness of cybersecurity best practices.Implement quality firewalls and antivirus software
Installation of security solutions such as firewalls and antivirus software is another step towards performing a successful risk management strategy. Such technical precautions add an extra level of safety to your computer or network. Firewalls represent a barrier between the outside world and your network. Installing a firewall will give your company more control over incoming and outgoing traffic. Similarly, the antivirus program checks your device and network for potentially harmful viruses.Create an incident response plan
Ensuring that everyone, including the IT security team and non-technical personnel, understands their roles in the case of a data breach or attack can make it easier to have resources ready to deploy. An incident response strategy is one of the most important components of minimizing cyber risk in your organization’s developing network environments.
Threats can come from everywhere, and their sophistication is increasing all the time, making it almost impossible to totally avoid data breaches. An incident response plan assists your business in doing everything necessary to remain proactively prepared so that your team can respond swiftly and efficiently to any issues.Final thoughts
Nowadays, managing risk throughout the company is more difficult than ever. Present-day security settings evolve frequently, and companies are confronted with an influx of third-party suppliers, cutting-edge technology, and an endless maze of regulations.
Chances are, you’ll contribute to that with your SEO budget. But how much should you spend on SEO services?
Don’t worry — you’re not alone. For many companies, digital is their primary marketing channel. Even so, many owners and executives still have a difficult time budgeting for online marketing.
It’s just as difficult on the provider’s side to develop a winning strategy and put the right price tag on it.
In short, it comes down to a matter of positioning – how does your website compare to competitors? Your existing position and how fast you want to make progress are the top variables for determining a budget for SEO.Expectations and Reality
One recent survey found that less than half of all small businesses have any money earmarked for SEO. For businesses that do invest in SEO services, they average just under $500/month.
In the end, it turns out that SEO is one of those things where you actually do get what you pay for.
Businesses spending more than $500/month are 53.3% more likely to be “extremely satisfied.”
Is it any surprise that so many business owners are reluctant to invest in SEO? Most business owners have no idea how search marketing works. They are far too busy running their businesses to spend time learning SEO.
In most businesses, there is a standardized step-by-step process to get from point A to point B.
Many assume that SEO works the same way. They treat it as a commodity and fall victim to the $99/month, “guaranteed page one” spammers, and scammers.The Cost of Cheap SEO
I belong to a number of Internet Marketing Groups on Facebook. It’s truly frightening, the number of noobs posing as SEO professionals and taking on clients.
It’s not uncommon to see a question like: “I just landed a client that wants to rank for [keyword x] – how do I do it?”
A close second is the use of link schemes, specifically Private Blog Networks, without ever explaining the risk to clients.
If business owners were just throwing money away by hiring an incompetent SEO, that would be bad enough. Unfortunately, the collateral damage from “cheap SEO” can go much deeper.
It can draw a Google penalty and virtually wipe out a website’s visibility on the web.
Business owners need to keep in mind they’re ultimately responsible for any SEO work performed on their site. They should discuss the specific tactics to be used before entering into an agreement.Managing Your Resources
With Google utilizing 200+ (and likely exponentially more) ranking factors, it’s easy to become intimidated and paralyzed.
The good news is that if you focus on just 3 factors, you can still crush it, regardless of your niche.
Here’s what you need to pay attention to:1. Information Architecture
Your site should:
Be crawlable & accessible to Search Engines.
Follow Google Webmaster Guidelines for SEO best practices.
Be optimized for a high quality of user experience (paying careful attention to Core Web Vitals).
Render cleanly on mobile, tablet & desktop devices.2. Content
Your site’s content should conform to best practices as disclosed in the Search Quality Ratings Guidelines with an emphasis on:3. Backlinks
Must be natural. Avoid popular link schemes like PBN’s and paid guest posts. Instead, focus on building real links that boost positioning in the SERPs.
Quality is key: A lower number of High trust/High Authority/Relevant links can outperform a large quantity of lower quality links.You Manage What You Measure – Set Goals
Before establishing a budget, one must define specific goals for a campaign.
Your goals should include measurable results, a defined timeframe, and an actual measurement for success.
At one time, success was measured solely by keyword rankings. While SERPs remain an important metric, they are not the most important metric.
I would argue the most important metrics are those with a direct impact on the bottom line. Organic sessions, goal conversions, and revenue fall into that category.
Goal setting could include improving organic sessions by X%, increasing conversions by Y per month and/or increasing revenues by Z%.
When setting goals, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind.
First, they need to be achievable. Stretch goals are fine, but pie-in-the-sky benchmarks can actually work as a disincentive.
Equally important – you need to give the campaign time to work.
According to Google, “…in most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.”Developing a Budget
Your goals will determine what tactics are needed for success. This, in turn, sets up a framework for developing an action plan and the budget necessary to support that plan.
This brings us full circle to positioning and paying attention to those factors that move the dial.
How does your information architecture stack up against competitors?
How does your content strategy fare as compared to the competition?
How does your backlink profile stack up against the top-ranked websites?
The answers to those questions will determine priorities as well as the volume of work needed to reach your goals.
In many cases, the actual work performed will be the same – regardless of budget level. The difference is the volume of work performed.
If you’re adding twice the content and twice the links at budget level “B” vs budget level “A” you have a higher likelihood of achieving earlier success at the higher budget.
That said, the right budget is one you can afford, without losing sleep, for a minimum of six and ideally twelve months.
It takes time to properly plan, implement and tweak a campaign in order to evaluate its success.
Also, keep in mind the lower the budget, the longer the journey.
How much can you expect to spend on SEO?
If you are hiring a top-level SEO company to execute a local campaign, expect to pay $500.00+ per month.
A national or international campaign will require a minimum budget of $2,500 to $5,000 a month.
Some firms offer a “trial package” at a lower price, with no contract. This allows prospective clients an opportunity to test their services, by minimizing risk.
If you can’t afford to retain a top-level SEO pro, there are some options. The most common is a one-time website SEO audit with actionable recommendations.
Just fixing your website will often lead to a meaningful boost in organic traffic. Content development and keyword analysis are other areas where you can get help from a pro for a one-time fixed rate.
Another option is to become an expert and do it yourself.SEO Cost Calculator – Measuring Organic Search (SEO) ROI
Following is a calculator commonly used for (incorrectly) measuring Return on Investment for SEO.Organic Search ROI Calculation Assuming “One Shots”
Example: selling blue widgets
Number of new customers acquired via organic search in a given month 10 Average net income (profit) per order $100 Total profits from new organic search customers in a given month $1,000 Monthly marketing budget (expense) $2,500 Monthly profits from new customers ($1,000) divided by monthly organic marketing spend ($2,500) ROI = -60%
The flaw in the above calculator is that it fails to take into consideration the lifetime value of a new customer.
Online retailers need repeat business, in order to grow. By not calculating the lifetime value of a new customer the true ROI is grossly understated.
The right way to calculate ROI is to build lifetime value into the calculator as seen here:Organic Search ROI Calculation Assuming Lifetime Value
Same example: selling blue widgets
Number of new customers acquired via organic search in a given month 10 Average net income (profit) per order $100 Total profits from new organic search customers in a given month $1,000 Average number of orders per customer over a “lifetime” 5 Total average lifetime profit $5,000 Monthly marketing budget (expense) $2,500 Average lifetime profits from new customers ($5,000) divided by monthly organic marketing spend ($2,500) ROI = 200%
As you can see, that one variable makes a huge difference in how the ROI is stated.The Takeaway
Unlike PPC, an organic search campaign will not yield immediate results. A comprehensive SEO campaign will involve a combination of technical SEO, content marketing & link-building.
Even when executed to perfection, it takes time for Google to recognize and reward these efforts.
With that said, the traffic earned from these efforts is often the most consistent and best converting among all channels.
As my career progresses in the merchant account space, I’ve had opportunities to observe and monitor sales figures for several major e-commerce sites. In analyzing the figures, I’ve come across a few interesting practices that can help merchants increase their bottom line and conversions with simple strategies. Whether you’re an affiliate, an SEO consultant or account manager, helping the merchant increase revenue definitely benefits all parties involved.My 10 Point Plan to Maximize Sales
Currency: Offering the standard country currency to your potential website customers allows them to feel as though they’re buying from a local merchant and increases conversion. Moreover, a customer’s credit card issuer could reject transactions simply because it’s a different currency and not part of the consumer’s regular buying pattern. For example, if I’ve never bought anything outside the U.S. on my credit card and attempt to purchase a product on a website which tries to charge in Euros, my credit card company will likely reject the transaction. A simple solution is to request a currency account from your acquiring merchant account bank. Most banks have over 10 currencies available, and there’s a minimal account maintenance fee involved to open it. If you have significant traffic from a certain country, this is definitely worth looking into.
Local Payment Methods: In addition to offering local currencies, there are several localized payment methods. Visa and Mastercard are standard in the U.S., and most consumers have access to these payment methods. But did you know that by not offering debit in Germany, a merchant will lose out on half of the market? Many Germans shy away from credit and don’t even possess a credit card. As for France, in order to remain competitive, merchants must accept the “Carte Bleue”. In China, most consumers use the China UnionPay credit card. Therefore, when entering new markets and analyzing conversions, it’s imperative to ensure merchants are adapting to the local market.
Language: Translating your website is an inexpensive way to speak your customer’s language! In the U.S. alone, offering a Spanish version taps you into a market that most merchants overlook. Furthermore, when translating a website, the “spokespeople” or visuals should adapt to that market. For example, when translating in Spanish for the American market, individuals pictured on the site should reflect a Latin American origin as this will help consumers relate more to the product or service offered.
Confidence Symbols: Adding a familiar logo near the process payment button fosters more trust and security in the transaction. Adding the McAfee symbol, the Verisign logo, or any type of lock and encryption standard symbol increases consumer confidence and increases conversion on the payment page. Placement on the payment page is as important as the logo itself. Position the symbols close to where the consumer is asked for payment details and also definitely above the page fold. Other symbols and tactics to cultivate customer confidence can be found at “9 Trust Symbols You Can Use to Increase Conversions and Customer Confidence“.
Alternative Payment Methods: There are several “alternative” methods of payment that are less common but still effective for closing a sale. In order to avoid diluting sales amongst several payment methods, present these options to your customer upon decline of his/her credit card. A merchant can simply add an extra step for customers wishing to use these payment modes to avoid the extra costs that may result from implementing them. Some examples include online checks, telephone billing or wallet type payments.
Partial Name Match: Every payment gateway has different fraud checks, and most of them have standard default settings for all merchants. Check these to ensure they’re adapted to the business model in question. For example, having a setting where the customer’s name is matched exactly to the one listed on the credit card could cost you some sales. If this setting is for an exact match, a customer who enters his name as Bob Smith will be declined if his credit card registers under Robert Smith. It’s highly recommended to opt for a partial match setting to ensure slight differences are approved at the gateway level.
Address Verification: This is similar to the topic mentioned above. A partial address verification is a better option than an exact match. Many merchants choose to simply match the city, state, and zip of the customer to avoid any differences of syntax in the address. This is in reference to payment fraud checks, of course the address must be verified against the USPS database to ensure a valid address for shipping products.
Cancel Upsell: Even after the best save attempts, some customers decide to cancel their membership or service. In order to maximize revenue from all customers, having a few alternative offers whereby a merchant can receive a CPA might add additional revenue from an otherwise lost customer. For example, if a merchant is selling books at a flat monthly membership fee and a customer decides to cancel, the merchant may offer a membership to an audio book club. This may allow an additional $30 from a customer that’s lost anyway! It’s important for merchants to think of products in the same vertical and to train customer service staff to effectively present these options to customers upon cancellation. This can even be offered at the end of an online cancellation form. Implementing this is inexpensive and can increase revenues with little effort on the merchants’ part.
Avoid Refunds: When selling online, refunds tend to be slightly higher than physical store sales. As such, losses from refunds can be considerable. One way to avoid refunding a customer is to offer a free product or month of service that can complement an existing order. It costs a lot less to give something for free than to refund a purchase or receive a chargeback!
Verify Your Decline Codes: This last one is rarely used by merchants, although reviewing why transactions are being declined can actually help increase approvals. Some decline codes are caused by integration issues between the merchant’s site and the gateway, which can be easily fixed. In addition, some decline codes are simply “more information requests” from the bank. In this case, calling the bank can clear up the issue. Decline code wording is different between various banks, therefore asking the bank for their decline code lexicon can provide insight as to why purchases are being declined. Many merchants can increase sales by 5-10% by understanding and properly responding to decline codes.
How many times have you deleted an email just to realize that it had an important file attached that you couldn’t get back? This is not only a pain, but can get you in trouble if it’s a really important file. In cases like these, you should be using a service like Openera to auto-file Gmail documents and images to the cloud to be sure you don’t lose anything important.
Openera is a Web service that constantly monitors your Gmail or Google Apps email account and automatically backs up your documents and images to your favorite cloud storage. Openera has a free account, the “Free Lifetime trial” and also has Pro, Teams, and Enterprise accounts. Even though the free account is limited to just one email address, one cloud storage service, and a few other things, it’s still worth using and is sure to come in handy to auto-file gmail documents and images.
Openera is an invaluable tool that I’ve been using for the past four to five months. Once you set it up, it just works; you’ll totally forget that you’re even using it. Here’s how it works.Setup
Connect a cloud service; you can choose Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or SkyDrive. You’ll be taken through the authorization process for the service that you’ve chosen.
Create a password for your account.
2. Openera will start going through the important files in your Inbox. In a few hours (or longer depending on your Inbox), you’ll receive an email from them letting you know what was found.
4. Once you go to your account, you won’t see any activity listed. You will need to give Openera some time. I remember when I signed up some months back, it seemed to take around twenty-four hours for my files to show up. Since you’ll get an email from Openera, there’s no need to leave the page open, or to keep going back to check.Final Thoughts
Openera is a true lifesaver. No longer do you have to worry about accidentally deleting an important document or image. Just go to your cloud storage and you’ll find your files safe and sound. You can choose to receive a digest daily or weekly to let you know which new files were backed up from your email to your cloud storage.
With a free account, Openera limited the number of files saved daily to just 7; if you upgrade you’ll get an unlimited daily file quota. Also, you’ll only be able to save 200 of your most recent files. If you’re someone that does not receive a lot of documents or images in your email, then you won’t have any problems with the free account.
Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
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