By Raymond Zhong and Niharika Mandhana
Source: on.wsj.com/1cVY6M3 May 13, 2015.
By Raymond Zhong and Niharika Mandhana
Source: on.wsj.com/1cVY6M3 May 13, 2015.
By Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz
Source: wef.ch/1Lp5gnm September 3, 2014
By Sam Edwards
In 2015 and for years to come, the ecommerce economy is expected to continue its upward trajectory and rapid growth. As an entrepreneur, this opportunity for success and sustainability is exciting, promising and intriguing. Whether you’ve already been involved with the launch of an ecommerce business in the past or are looking to get involved with your first venture, now is the time to get your foot in the door. Indeed, from 2010 to 2013, total U.S. retail ecommerce sales increased from $167.3 billion to $263.3 billion. Last year, that number jumped up to $304.1 billion, and trends suggest 2015 will top off somewhere around $347.3 billion. For perspective, total estimated retail sales in the U.S. came in around $3.19 trillion for 2014. That means ecommerce sales made up approximately 9.5 percent of total U.S. sales — and that share is expected to grow.
However, those numbers pale in comparison to the predictions financial analysts and industry experts are suggesting for the next three years. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, sources say the total projected U.S. retail ecommerce sales will come in around $392.5, $440.4, and $491.5 billion, respectively. If those numbers hold true, that will be more than a 41 percent growth from this year to the end of 2018. While the ecommerce economy is poised for significant growth in the coming months and years, you can only expect to see results if you approach it in the right way. That means focusing on the following critical tips for ecommerce success.
One of the biggest mistakes unsuccessful ecommerce entrepreneurs make is forcing or rushing the launch of a website. You only get one shot at launching your website and you can’t mess this up. While it’s okay to purchase your domain name and throw up some sort of “Coming Soon” page, you should avoid the big reveal until you’ve laid some substantial ground work (SEO, content marketing, social media, paid advertising, etc.).
It’s no secret that the biggest shortcoming of ecommerce businesses is the inability to let their customers touch, feel, smell, and see (firsthand) products before making a decision. While there’s currently no solution for solving this problem, you can compensate for this deficiency in other areas of the business. Some of the best tips include offering appropriate pricing, giving free shipping and making the checkout process easy with simplified shopping carts.
Before, during and after you launch any ecommerce business, you should invest in testing and analytics. Think like the customer and figure out what’s working, what’s not, and the why behind those answers. Here’s a look at some of the best A/B testing tools.
Any ecommerce entrepreneur that tells you he outsources social media or delegates it to other team members is crazy. Social media is the heartbeat of your business, as it gives you an uninterrupted glance into the lives of your customers. While it’s perfectly fine to have a social-media manager, it’s pertinent that you’re involved with it, too.
Going along with the previous tip, it’s a great idea to include social elements on your ecommerce sites. Things like product reviews and testimonials follow buttons and even social login options all help the conversion funnel.
Bill Siwicki of Internet Retailer references Goldman Sachs, saying, “Tablets will play an increasingly important role as worldwide consumer spending via mobile jumps from $204 billion in 2014 to $626 billion in 2018…” If you aren’t building ecommerce businesses with mobile in mind, you may be irrelevant in three to five years.
As the ecommerce economy experiences rapid growth, more and more businesses will be entering this increasingly crowded space. That means it will be more important than ever to stay on top of SEO in order to stand out from the competition. Connecting with a skilled SEO will help you stay competitive in the long run.
Unless you plan on launching a single site and stepping away (most entrepreneurs are tempted to keep trying), it’s critical that you collect customer information and build databases to aid future launches.
Finally, never stop evolving. Technology, trends and customer tastes will change, and so must you if you want to succeed in such a variable market. With these nine tips, you can be well on your way to becoming a successful ecommerce-based entrepreneur.
By Travis Bradberry
Successful people know the importance of shifting gears on the weekend to relaxing and rejuvenating activities. Like Spencer, they use their weekends to create a better week ahead. This is easier said than done, so here’s some help. The following list contains 10 things that successful people do to find balance on the weekend and to come into work at 110% on Monday morning.
By Martin Roll
Mentoring is a much used and abused word. Becoming a great mentor is by no means a goal or a destination, but a journey that has a starting point and a constantly changing end point. To be effective at different stages of this journey, a mentor needs to keep his or her mind open, constantly adding value, helping the relationship evolve and playing different roles at different stages. Mentoring is a “relationship” and a successful relationship is based on an effective two-way model of sharing, commitment and trust. Intel’s founder Andy Grove has commented that whenever he hears the words “mentor” and “mentee”, it makes him nauseous. According to him, successful mentoring is as much “give and take” between the mentor and the mentee as it is about the mentor providing guidance and direction. The jump from being a good mentor to a great one requires a mentor to become the compass of the relationship and co-create its future path. There are a few golden rules of achieving greatness in mentoring, which have stood the test of time and are equally relevant and effective today as they were twenty years ago. Below are ten basic rules which I have developed over the years, and constantly employ in my role as mentor for a variety of global C-suite clients, managers and business school students.
By Matt Mayberry
One of the most rewarding things that I have ever done was create a daily mindset enhancement program for myself. This program has one goal and one goal only: to constantly feed my mind with uplifting and positive material that will help to keep me performing at a high level day in and day out, regardless of what’s going on.
Failure, toxic people and the everyday challenges of life have the potential to completely shatter our dreams, hopes and desires to do anything worthwhile in this world. Don’t be like everyone else and take a major hit to the quality of their thoughts and thinking when something bad happens in their lives. Take charge of your mind. Grow and protect it with everything you have. All achievements, riches and happiness start in the mind.
There are going to be times where you wake up in the morning and don’t feel like going to work on your mind. However, failing to do so provides you with a lot more challenges and problems than to actually take the 20 to 30 minutes out of your day to sit down and do it. Here are the steps of my daily mindset enhancement program that you can use as a starting point to help get you started.
Wake up at least two hours before you have to be somewhere. If you have to be at the office at 8, then wake up at 6. Waking up two hours before you have to be anywhere is very important because one of the main reasons why most people don’t have very good morning routines is because they rush. From the time they get up until the time they run out the door, everything is just a constant blur for them. They have no time to spend on themselves before they enter the real world.
In this day and age with all of the technology, gadgets and obligations that we have, we hardly ever spend time in solitude. There is no better time to tune out the rest of the world and get in touch with your inner-self than early in the morning. All you need is roughly 10 to 15 minutes to sit in solitude and capture the essence of all of the beauty in your life.
I visualize how I want my day to go to every exact detail, from the moment I walk out the door, to the facial expressions of clients after meetings, to eating healthy meals all day long. My vision for the day ahead is as positive and successful as possible.
The best attitude to have is an attitude of gratitude, and keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent way to incorporate gratitude into your daily routines. When we are going through a rough time or have a million things on our mind, the last thing we are thinking about most of the time is what we are grateful for. Taking the time to actually write down at least three to five things you are grateful for in the morning sets you up for a happy and amazing day. Regardless of what setback or challenge you may be currently facing, gratitude is one of your best weapons against unhappiness and feeling sorry for yourself.
Reading to the brain is what exercise is to the body. By reading a motivational and uplifting book you are providing yourself with the mental fuel to have a positive state of mind all day long. What we read and watch first thing in the morning is said to have the biggest effect on how the rest of our day goes.
Instead of driving to work and listening to music, put on a good audiobook or some type of audio program that is going to motivate, inspire or teach you something. Work out in the morning? Get your sweat on while feeding your mind at the same time.
We spend so much time every day in cars, trains and airplanes that one of the best ways to utilize that commute time is to grow with audiobooks.
Think about all of the conversations that you have on a daily basis. How many of them stimulate your mind with positive energy that gets you extremely excited about life in general? There will always be negative people around us, including some of our closest friends and family members, but start to get real serious about the daily conversations that you engage in every day. Our moods, lives and mindsets are greatly affected by the conversations that we engage in. Make sure yours are building you up, not tearing you down.
Creating a mindset enhancement program and going to work on your mind every single day can dramatically change the direction of your life and business in an instant.
By Amy Wilkinson
The Creator’s Code is based on interviews with 200 entrepreneurs who have started companies that generate more than $100 million in annual revenue or social enterprises that serve more than 100,000 people. Some of these creators have started businesses that generate more than $1 billion in revenue every year. Crisscrossing the country, I spent hours interviewing creators in technology, retail, energy, health care, media, mobile applications, biotechnology, real estate, travel, and hospitality, working to understand their approach. Across my research, I witnessed individuals turning small notions into big companies time and again. From the creators who invented online storage provider Dropbox (annual revenue $200 million), fast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle ($3.9 billion), discount airline JetBlue ($5.7 billion), to a myriad of other successful businesses, I found that they achieved entrepreneurial success in much the same way.
Without exception, creators describe their work as doing something much more than achieving financial ambitions—they aim to make a mark on the world. “This generation of technologists thinks about bringing people together to do all sorts of interesting things,” eBay founder Pierre Omidyar told me. “That’s intoxicating and incredibly motivating and creates a stage of human development that is fundamentally new.” Analyzing nearly 10,000 pages of interview transcripts and more than 5,000 pieces of archival and documentary evidence, I worked to understand how creators, sometimes dismissed as unrealistic dreamers, not only come to disrupt competitors but also to reshape entire industries. The research is based on grounded theory method, widely used in qualitative analysis. My extensive interviews were recorded and the resulting transcripts combed for common attributes that were coded and then grouped into concepts. These results allowed me to identify the categories that provide the basis for developing the theory of six essential skills that enable the success of every creator.
To test and support my conclusions, I immersed myself in the literature relevant to entrepreneurial endeavor from the fields of organizational behavior, psychology, sociology, entrepreneurship, economics, strategy, decision theory, and creativity. I reviewed more than 4,000 pages of academic research, examined hundreds of studies and experiments, and consulted leading scholars. It was a five-year odyssey that led me to six skills that make creators successful. Creators are not born with an innate ability to conceive and build $100 million enterprises. They work at it. I found that they all share certain fundamental approaches to the act of creation. The skills that make them successful can be learned, practiced, and passed on.
By staying alert, creators spot opportunities that others don’t see. They keep their eyes open for fresh potential, a vacuum to fill, or an unmet need. Creators tend to use one of three distinct techniques: transplanting ideas across divides, designing a new way forward, or merging disparate concepts. I characterize creators who master these approaches as Sunbirds, Architects, or Integrators.
Just as race-car drivers keep their eyes fixed on the road ahead, creators focus on the future, knowing that where they go, their eyes go first. Creators move too fast to navigate by the confines of their lane or the position of their peers. Instead, they focus on the horizon, scan the edges, and avoid nostalgia to set the pace in a fast-moving marketplace.
Creators continuously update their assumptions. In rapid succession, they observe, orient, decide, and act. Like legendary fighter pilot John Boyd, who pioneered the idea of the “OODA loop,” creators move nimbly from one decision to the next. They master fast-cycle iteration and in short order gain an edge over less agile competitors.
Creators understand that experiencing a series of small failures is essential to avoiding catastrophic mistakes. In the course of practicing and mastering this skill, they set what I call failure ratios, place small bets to test ideas, and develop resilience. They hone the skill to turn setbacks into successes.
To solve multifaceted problems, creators bring together the brainpower of diverse individuals through on- and off-line forums. They harness cognitive diversity to build on each other’s ideas. To do this, creators design shared spaces, foster flash teams, hold prize competitions, and build work-related games. They collaborate with unlikely allies.
Creators unleash generosity by helping others, often by sharing information, pitching in to complete a task, or opening opportunities to colleagues. Offering kindness may not seem like a skill, but it is an essential way that creators strengthen relationships. In an increasingly transparent and interconnected world, generosity makes creators more productive.
The six essential skills are not discrete, stand-alone practices. Each feeds the next, creating synergy and momentum. No special expertise is required to master the six skills. You don’t need credentials or degrees. The ability to turn ideas into enduring enterprises is available to anyone willing to learn and work. Although everyone has strengths in certain skills and weaknesses in others, the more we exercise and increase our proficiency in each, the more we will be able to make the most of every opportunity. When a creator brings together all six skills, something magnetic occurs. Creators attract allies—employees, customers, investors, and collaborators of all kinds. Customers become evangelists. Employees turn into loyalists. Investors back the company with support that transcends financial returns. Creators engage in meaningful work with the aim of making a difference. To become one of them, all you need is to understand and practice the six essential skills.
By: Oscar Wilde
Source: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes_of_the_day.html May 22, 2015
By: Lingling Wei
Source: on.wsj.com/1PHLVhN May 13, 2015
By: Roxanne Bauer
Source: http://wrld.bg/MUN4l May 13, 2015