Recently a member of our team found this infographic. The statistics are fascinating, especially the one that said 52 percent of abandoned online shopping carts occurred due to the shipping and handling costs.
Another statistic I found fascinating was, during the holiday season in 2010 the average order value with shipping was $86.58, and with out shipping it was $125.20. A $38.62 difference may not seem likemuch, but it can add up in the end. Would you rather have people buying your products because you offer free shipping or abandoning because the shipping costs are to high?
These statistics reminded me of an experience. I wanted to buy a perishable food product that was difficult to find in regular stores. The price seemed reasonable so I went the website and placed it in the shopping cart. As soon as I saw the shipping cost, I aborted my purchasing quest immediately. The product was five dollars and the shipping cost was $30! I was willing to pay a few dollars for shipping, but $30 was outrageous, especially since the product wasn’t very large or heavy.
If they had offered free shipping, I probably would have thought about buying more than one container. But since their shipping was ridiculously out of my price range they lost my business.
As business owners it is important to weight out the pros and cons of free shipping. It might be in your companies best interest to have a free shipping option, but then again it might not. You decide.
Those of us doing business in Utah realize what a great business environment we have here. We’re full of entrepreneurial activity. We have supportive government leaders, universities and other organizations. Businesses are open and collaborate with each other. And I believe we are seeing more and more positive press from outside the state on this issue.
So why don’t more companies locate here? And why is it sometimes hard to recruit talent to this state? Richard Nelson, president of the Utah Technology Council (UTC), believes there are two words that answer that question: Alcohol and Mormonism. And he is quick to point out that those are misconceptions which, if overcome, will go a long way toward convincing the rest of the country what we here in Utah already know: Utah is a great place to live, play, work and build a successful business.
So to help set the record straight, UTC has put out a couple of videos showcasing non-native Utahns debunking the myth that you can’t get a drink here, and that those pesky Mormons will spend all their time trying to convert you.
I’m interested in getting thoughts on these from people who haven’t lived in Utah. What do you think?
Acronyms abound in the online-marketing world: CPA, CPS, CPM, CTR, SEO, PR, CRO, etc. They are straight forward, except for when they aren’t. And since nobody knows where they originated from, everybody adopts their usages, even if they aren’t particularly intuitive. The term EPC seems to be one of those. It means earnings per click, right? Everybody will tell you that. But then why, when you sit down and calculate it, does it mean earnings averaged over a hundred clicks? And why don’t we then refer to it as EPHC? Or EPH?
What if, instead, the “C” is supposed to represent the Latin word for 100, or centum? There is a precedence there. After all, CPM stands for cost per mille, the Latin word for thousand. But none of us say that. If we refer to CPM without saying the acronym, we always just call it cost per thousand. Likewise, we’ll all continue to refer to EPC as earnings per click; but if anyone asks why it doesn’t really mean earnings per click, I think I’ll throw in the centum thing just to watch them scratch their heads harder.
The other day I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that explained why so many creative people have trouble executing their ideas. It mentioned the oft-quoted “genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” The trouble with really creative people, it said, is they often lack the discipline to see ideas through to the finish. They have so many ideas that they only develop an idea so far before getting distracted and abandoning it for another idea.
I love creative people. I think they add spice to the world. Unfortunately, the world usually benefits from their creativity only if their ideas make it to fruition. So in an attempt to support the creative people of this world, here are some ideas to help even the most undisciplined person be more productive.
Set goals. Mentioning “goals” to creative people probably generates groans and eye rolling. Goals are limiting, whereas ideas need to be free-flowing and open, right? But the fact remains that people who set goals are much more likely to reach them than those who don’t. Goals can be specific or general, but at least they create a self-imposed timeline and benchmark that you can work toward. So even if you start to get distracted, every time you look at your goals, it helps to bring your focus back to your idea. Eye on the prize, right? Of course, that assumes that A) you write your goals down and B) you review those goals often. Failure to do either of those things reduces the likelihood of you ever reaching your goal.
Use a calendar. Calendars are cheap. Every PC, Mac or smart phone has one on it. Electronic calendars are the best because they can alert you when you’ve got a deadline. If you break the goal into small steps, then set targets for those steps on your calendar, you can establish those at the very beginning, when you’re excited about the idea. You can then let the calendar’s reminders do their jobs at keeping you on track.
Use a task manager. Task managers are even better than calendars in that they require you to mark one action as finished while scheduling the next action, all at the same time. This forces you to constantly be working toward the next step. A good task manager will allow you to do this in just seconds, so you don’t feel like you’re “working” too hard.
Use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Although a CRM tool is overkill for individuals that are working alone, such as painters or software programmers working on their own projects, if your work affects other people, either people you collaborate with or potential customers, CRM systems provide not only calendars and task managers, but also ways to keep track of communications with the people who will benefit from your creativity. They let you keep notes on your ideas, so when you do come up with ideas outside the scope of your current project, you can jot those down, knowing you can come back to them once you’ve finished riding your current wave of creativity.
Share with a small group. If you let a select group of people—such as friends, co-workers or family members—know what you are working on, they can help keep you on task. They can review your work as you step through the process, give feedback, provide support and encouragement, etc. You’re more likely to stay focused and productive if you know you’re not the only one looking forward to the finished product.