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5 common failings for a small business Ecommerce store launch

Launching an online store usually requires plenty of effort and initial expense. Often small business owners and developers make the same mistakes which arise since the ecommerce development process is not yet effective. Ignoring these inefficiencies can be detrimental to the business and result in spending on fixing related issues. .

For success, a web store owner needs to define a project launch plan with a clear marketing strategy. Remember, you create a website not for yourself, but for prospective customers, so take into consideration all of their preferences. Many customers don’t want to spend their precious time on understanding how to use a website, and they will probably go elsewhere – so your ecommerce functionality is crucial!

Here are some critical online business mistakes to avoid:

1. Poor design and functionality

The importance of a memorable and modern design is a significant element of any online store, as customers can make aesthetic judgements about the company itself from the very first glance. Given first impressions count the main aspect is your website layout with a good balance of relevant text and graphics which do not take priority over usability/functionality.  With a responsive or adaptive design, you can be sure your pages will load quickly and it’s optimized for all devices, so your customers are not waiting or abandoning your site.

First of all, it’s essential to offer your buyers an effective and reliable on-site search since this is a core behaviour on Ecommerce sites. The lack of speed and poor search results can frustrate people. For ease of convenience, don’t forget to consider a drop-down menu for ease of choice product selection.  Also providing your visitors with an opportunity to navigate back to previous pages which have been viewed.

 2. Stale Content

The other common mistake is using standard content without regular updates. A website shouldn’t represent a desolate house with no valuable and unique information (online value propositions).

Many online stores omit adequate product information; so as a rule you can find product descriptions taken from manufacturer websites, like thousands of competitor projects. Saying they don’t provide too much information, as people can go direct to the manufacturer?  Use all possible and impossible descriptive methods to outline product features and specifications in your own way to attract prospective clients.

Online store owners add extensive volume of information. Don’t overload your customers with the large articles to read or long video data to review. A lot of vendors think that most of their customers know what they actually want, but this is a substantial mistake: only well-structured and inducing descriptions can sometimes stimulate prospects to make a purchase.

3. Poor payment and shipping information

One of the most important questions for any customer is the product’s complete price and delivery costs. This information should be given to customers as soon as possible,  as no one likes surprises with their final invoice (provide more specific options including  free delivery, for example).  It also applies to delivery terms and options, so consumers know delivery lead times and shipping services.

4. Complex checkout

Many customers are tired or even hate filling in long online application forms. Provide options for modifying orders rather than starting the process from the beginning. Consider an easy checkout process, which is not divided into many steps as it can cause confusion as well as cause shopping card abandonment.

Try to avoid mandatory registration. Remember, customers came to you for an easy and hassle-free shopping experience, so asking for an account creation to submit an order can cause consumers to switch to your competitor. Provide choices for fast purchases and special deals for returning and registered users.

5. Insufficient photo and video reviews

With online stores, customers can’t touch or try products compared to a brick-and-mortar retail store, so they need at least to know how these items look like before making a purchasing decision. For example, tiny, poor quality images will never convince customers of buying something in your web store.  Consider larger professional photos from different perspectives to help conversion.

Video content should now be considered essential for an engaging ecommerce store. Using product review videos of your own production will help your grab prospect’s attention and allow them making the most deliberate choice. I personally upload them to Youtube for easy and the SEO.

Thanks to James Woodgate for sharing his thoughts and opinions in this bog post. James is a community and marketing manager at Simtech Development, an established team of custom shopping cart developers with the main focus on first-class ecommerce development and shopping cart integration. You can follow Simtech on Twitter or Facebook.

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The 3 Most Common Mistakes In Digital #Marketing By Startups

You have reached the point where another cup of coffee won’t make a difference. In fact, a whole pot wouldn’t give you the energy you need to complete all of your digital marketing tasks.

This is a problem for many startups.

Here are three of the most common mistakes in digital marketing by startups, all of them are correctable and fixing any or all of them can have a huge impact on your digital marketing return on investment.

Mistake 1: Not Focusing Your Digital Marketing On Business Objectives

If your startup is posting on Facebook, you need to defend why your startup chooses to spend their time and energy on that digital marketing activity from a business perspective. It may be great for your ego that you got 10 shares on a post, but how do those shares actually lead to profit?

[pullquote]Don’t forget that just because you are an amazing tech startup that you are also still a business. [/pullquote]

Just like any other business, your startup needs to achieve revenue. The way to make achieve this revenue with digital marketing is to have all of your activities either achieve or move users towards achieving concrete business objectives.

The best way to correct the mistake of digital marketing without business objectives is to create a marketing funnel. Since not all of your digital marketing results in an immediate sale, this marketing funnel will have a series of steps, each one of which is a small business objectives (getting an email address, users filling out forms, etc.) which lead to your ultimate business objective which is usually a sale.

Once you have mapped out your marketing funnel, you have shifted your mindset towards viewing your digital marketing through a business lens. Use this lens to see what digital marketing activities actually move the needle. If the digital marketing activity does not move users towards your business objective, you can either stop spending your time and money on that particular activity or reconfigure your strategy and test to see if it is possible to achieve business objectives with it.


A good example of how to create your marketing funnel via HubSpot.

Defining quality versus quantity for business objectives via Nerds Do It Better (my company)

Mistake 2: Trying To Market On Too Many Channels

Instead of trying to utilize a selection of digital marketing channels effectively, startups often attempt to have a presence on every channel and end up executing them all poorly.

This is how it happens:

You sign up your startup for accounts in all of the social networks and frantically drop in, make a lot of noise, and do not interact according to the norms and the standards of that particular channel. Instead of adding value to the conversation, your startup looks like a jerk and turns potential customers off.

The mistake is that your presence on these networks is sporadic and doesn’t allow you to understand the community and authentically connect with the users. You shouldn’t necessarily be sending the same message on Twitter as you would on email or Facebook or Instagram. However, you do not have the time nor the staff to interact on all of the networks in a way that engages visitors and moves your startup towards business objectives.

The best way to correct this mistake is to begin your digital marketing with one or two channels and spend your time and effort becoming industry leaders on that channel. Once you have mastered a select group of channels, you may want to expand, or you may find that you can sustain your startup’s growth on those one or two channels.

To choose the optimal channel for your startup, find out which channels your customers already frequent. Research and spend time on those channels to become a valuable member of the community that adds value with your digital marketing messages.


Choosing the right social networks via Search Engine Land

Creating more than social media noise via Scott Stratten

Mistake 3: Trying To Market To Everyone

If you attempt to target everyone, you target no one. This is a mistake that I learned early on (the hard way!).

The average consumer is exposed to 5,000 marketing messages per day, which means your digital marketing messages need to stand out by being the most tailored to your audience. If your startup attempts to market to an audience that is too diverse with a wide range of wants, needs, and desires you will be unable to craft digital marketing messages that resonate with anyone. Additionally, with this large audience your marketing messages is competing against a much larger pool of competitors. You want to target a narrow audience (sometimes called a niche) and create messages tailored to them.

You can narrow your target audience by various demographics and psychographics. Demographics are quantitative variables such as age, gender, income, location, and income. Psychographics are qualitative measurements and are often self-defined such as fans of the Patriots, investors, or environmentalists.

Narrowing your message down creates a feeling for that audience member that it is just for them. For example, if you are a startup that provides social media marketing to Crossfit gyms you could narrow your targeting by simply changing the title of your blog, if it was originally titled 7 Things Your Business Needs To Know About Marketing, it would be more tailored by changing the title to 7 Things Your Gym Needs To Know About Facebook Marketing and would be best tailored by titling it 7 Things Your Gym Needs To Know About Facebook Marketing. Even though CrossFit gym owners are business owners, narrowing and tailoring the message makes it resonate more with them.

From experience I have found that tailoring marketing messages to a narrow audience:

Increases the return on ad spend

Increases  email open rates

Increase the amount of feedback on the social networks

Bonus tip: It is important to think about who your target market actually is. For example, if your startup is a site that connects tutors with underperforming school children, initially you may create digital marketing messages tailored to the kids who are underperforming. However, the kids aren’t the ones with the purchasing power: your actual audience is the parents. You would want to target parents of underperforming kids for your marketing with messages that resonate with them.


Defining your target audience via QuickSprout

How to define your target audience via Raven Tools

As a startup, you have a limited budget and limited time to perform your digital marketing. You do not have the financial and staff cushion of larger companies and must be especially careful to avoid mistakes. By tying your digital marketing activities to business objectives, choosing your digital marketing channels specifically, and targeting a specific audience, you avoid three of the most common mistakes startups make with digital marketing and will begin to see profits increase.

What is the biggest digital marketing mistake your startup made and what lesson did you learn from it?

Image Credits

Image #2: hobbit via Shutterstock

Mercedes To Launch Hydrogen Fuel

Mercedes-Benz says it will build a hydrogen-fueled version of its European B-Class hatchback. The F-Cell will get electric power from a hydrogen cell, giving it the performance of a 2-liter economy car. An inaugural run of 200 units will arrive in the US and Europe by early 2010. Mercedes-Benz

Just like its counterparts at Honda and GM who’ve announced they’ll produce hydrogen fuel-cell cars, Mercedes-Benz hopes the whole “if you build it” thing doesn’t just apply to Shoeless Joe Jackson. Mercedes announced today the company will build a hydrogen-fueled version of its European B-Class hatchback called the F-Cell for the US and Europe. It’ll arrive by early 2010, far ahead of the massive hydrogen infrastructure the company acknowledges will be required for wide adoption of such cars.

The company says it will build 200 units of the F-Cell, a car powered by a 136-horsepower electric motor with current generated by a fuel-cell generator. Power storage comes by way of a lithium-ion battery (35 kW output / 1.4 kWh capacity) supporting a driving range of 250 miles and a top speed of 106. According to a press release, the F-Cell will perform similarly to an economy car with a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine. The company also touts good cold-start capability at temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit. Not likely a problem in California, where most of the country’s hydrogen refueling stations are.

Still, with the number of such stations in California still in the low double digits, and few stations elsewhere in the country, the F-Cell’s limited rollout will likely remain centered on the Golden State. Mercedes-Benz officials say the company is working with oil companies, utilities and government agencies in California and Germany to expand the hydrogen infrastructure to support F-Cell drivers.

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Hydrogen Car

Mercedes-Benz says it will build a hydrogen-fueled version of its European B-Class hatchback. The F-Cell will get electric power from a hydrogen cell, giving it the performance of a 2-liter economy car. An inaugural run of 200 units will arrive in the US and Europe by early 2010.

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Hydrogen Car, Coming in 2010

Mercedes-Benz officials say the F-Cell will be fitted with a 136-hp electric motor with power generated by a fuel-cell generator. Power storage comes by way of a lithium-ion battery (35 kW output / 1.4 kWh capacity) supporting a driving range of 250 miles and a top speed of 106.

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Hydrogen Car, Good in the Cold

MB touts the F-Cell’s cold-start capability. While early fuel cells balked at starting in sub-freezing temperatures, the F-Cell’s unit can operate in temps as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Hydrogen Car, Working on the Infrastructure

Mercedes-Benz officials say the company is working with oil companies, utilities and government agencies in California, Hamburg and Stuttgart on joint projects to expand the network of hydrogen filling stations to support F-Cell drivers.

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Hydrogen Car, Dash-Mounted Fuel-Cell System Monitor

As in many hybrid cars, the Mercedes-Benz F-Cell hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle has a dashboard-mounted screen on which to monitor drive-system performance. In the compact fuel cell system, gaseous hydrogen reacts with atmospheric oxygen at 700 bar to generate a current for the electric motor. A lithium-ion battery with an output of 35 kW and a capacity of 1.4 kWh boosts power and recovers braking energy.

The Windows Dev Kit 2023 Is Now On The Microsoft Store

The Windows Dev Kit 2023 is now on the Microsoft Store









In case you didn’t know, the Windows Dev Kit 2023 is now up for sale.

If you want to buy it, you can find this mini PC on the Microsoft Store.

It was designed for developers to build native ARM apps for Windows 11.

If you remember, back in May, we told you that Microsoft was gearing up to release a brand-new mini PC designed to improve Windows on Arm called Project Volterra.

And, while everyone was focusing on native Arm support for Visual Studio 2023 and VS Code, the Redmond tech company was creating an Arm-native toolchain.

Support for this includes full Visual Studio 2023 & VS Code, Visual C++, Modern .NET 6 and Java, Classic .NET Framework, Windows Terminal, and WSL and WSA for running Linux and Android apps.

It looks like the time has finally come and Microsoft is launching its own version of the Mac Mini today with a price that many will find a bit spicy.

The new mini Windows PC is great for building ARM apps for Windows 11

The truth is that you will have to dig deep in your pockets and pull out a whopping $599 for this mini PC that’s designed for developers to build native ARM apps for Windows 11.

Previously known as Project Volterra, the Windows Dev Kit 2023 is already available today in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the US.

So, developers will now be able to purchase this highly-coveted device, but really anyone wanting a miniature Windows on Arm machine can buy one as well.

You surely want to know more about this device so let’s take a closer look at it and see what actually makes this new miniature PC tick.

What are the Windows Dev Kit 2023 specs?

Well, if you are interested in buying one, know that the Windows Dev Kit 2023 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 platform with 32GB of RAM and 512GB of NVMe storage.

Furthermore, there are also two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports at the side and three USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports at the rear, alongside an Ethernet port and Mini DisplayPort.

The tech giant started to leverage NPUs in Windows 11 to power features like Voice Focus, a state-of-the-art background noise removal algorithm that doesn’t hit your CPU or GPU.

Speaking software-wise, this is where the Windows Dev Kit 2023 will absolutely shine. As we’ve said, Microsoft is working to launch a full toolchain of ARM native apps for developers to use.

Thus, Visual Studio 2023 17.4 now runs natively on Arm with far better performance, and .NET 7 will include improved performance for ARM.

Please keep in mind that previews for Arm versions of Visual C++ and the Windows App SDK are also available now.

With this device, we are getting more apps, tools, frameworks, and packages that are being ported to natively target Windows on ARM and will be arriving over the coming months. 

In the meantime, thanks to Windows 11’s powerful emulation technology, developers will be able to run many unmodified x64 and x86 apps and tools on their Windows Dev Kit.

And if that wasn’t already enough, the Windows Dev Kit will also have access to native ARM versions of Microsoft Teams, Office, Edge, and OneDrive sync.

As a result, Microsoft really hopes this device will encourage Windows on Arm app development, so we can finally see more apps run natively on Arm-powered laptops.

Since we are talking about Windows 11 and Qualcomm processors, be sure to check out the list of Windows 11-supported Intel, Qualcomm & AMD CPUs.

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How To Remove Apps From The Microsoft Store Library

Microsoft Store is a built-in online platform for Windows users to download and install a variety of apps, games, movies, and books on their PC. With the help of this service, installing apps on your computer is risk-free and safer than installing them from untrusted sources. Additionally, Microsoft Store has a lot of features but also some downsides. The lack of an option to remove or uninstall apps from the Microsoft Store Library section is one complaint many users have made about Microsoft Store.

Any App Store should be able to manage connected devices’ installed apps and display a list of those apps. For Microsoft Store, the list of applications you have downloaded from the store and installed on your computer is displayed, but you cannot uninstall installed applications directly from the Store. Despite how rudimentary the capability is, Microsoft Store lacks a menu for uninstalling apps, in contrast to other app stores like Google Play Store and Apple App Store. However, you can use a workaround to hide or remove the unused app from the Microsoft Store.

Hide or Remove apps from the Microsoft Store Library

Since removing programs directly from the Microsoft Store is impossible, as we have already mentioned, you must use other means to remove an app from your computer if you installed it through the Microsoft Store and decide it is no longer necessary. Likewise, even after uninstalling such an app, Windows keeps it in the Library section of the Microsoft Store. You can prevent your app library from becoming overrun with uninstalled apps, by following these two steps:

Uninstall the Microsoft Store app via Settings

Use the “Show installed products only” option in your Microsoft Store Library

1] Uninstall the Microsoft Store app via Settings

There are several methods you can use to uninstall unused applications from your Windows computer, as the Microsoft Store doesn’t have an option built-in to allow you to remove apps directly from it

You can, hence, uninstall the Microsoft Store app using the Windows Settings as described below:

Press Windows + I to open Settings on your computer.

On the App list, navigate to the app you want to uninstall and tap on the three-dot icon in front of it.

2] Use the “Show installed products only” option in your Microsoft Store Library

As we have mentioned several times, Windows keeps the Windows Store apps you’ve uninstalled from your computer in the Library section of the Store. However, the Windows Store Library section also has a menu to show installed products only, and you can use this to hide all uninstalled apps you don’t want in the Library

To do this:

At the right-hand side of the resulting page, just above your app list, tap on the Sort and filter menu

After this, you should only see installed apps in the Microsoft Store.

Read: Microsoft Store is not opening after reset

Is it possible to remove apps directly from Windows Store Library?

No, the Microsoft Store does not offer a feature that enables users to disable apps from within it. Therefore, if you have any unwanted apps on your Windows Store, you must first uninstall them using one of the techniques we have covered in this article and then use the method we have also covered in this article to hide them from your Windows Store Library.

Why does the Windows Store keep uninstalled apps in the Library section?

Any app you have downloaded from the Microsoft Store is kept in the Library section of the Store after you uninstall it, most likely so users who might be interested in the app in the future can quickly reinstall it. However, this is not ideal for all situations or users, thus, Microsoft may try to address this in the future by introducing an option that enables users to hide or remove apps from their Windows Store Library. In the interim, you can make use of the method we outlined for hiding uninstalled programs from the Windows Store Library.

The 3 Best Online Pomodoro Applications

When it comes to productivity, few methods are as simple or effective as the Pomodoro Technique. Never heard of it? Never fear. The name for the technique comes from the word pomodoro, which is Italian for tomato.

When Francesco Cirillo developed the technique in the 80s, he thought the 25-minute intervals set by a standard tomato-shaped kitchen timer were perfect for productivity.

Table of Contents

The way the method works is simple. Set a timer for 25 minutes and focus all of your attention on a single task. After those 25 minutes are up, take a 5 minute break before setting another 25 minute timer.

After two 25 minute segments, or “Poms,” take a 10 minute break. Set another 25 minute timer, take a 5 minute break, rinse and repeat.

Now that it’s 2023, few people actually use kitchen timers anymore. Here are some of our favorite online Pomodoro timers to help you make the most of your working sessions.

1. Tomato Timer

Tomato Timer is the simplest, most straightforward implementation of the Pomodoro Timer on the web. There are three main buttons: start, stop, and reset, although you can learn keyboard shortcuts if you really want to optimize productivity. There is no sign-up requirement, and Tomato Timer is completely free.

You can even go into the settings menu to customize your experience farther, setting custom times for each Pom, your short breaks, and your long breaks. You can set daily goals, adjust the alert sound when the timer goes off, and much more. For those that rely on the Pomodoro Technique for getting things done, Tomato Timer is the best option.

2. Pomodoro Tracker

Like Tomato Timer, Pomodoro Tracker is completely free. It can be used without creating an account, although signing up does give added benefits and stat tracking. Pomodoro Tracker lets you set a to-do list and track work by individual category. It also tracks how many Poms you have done automatically.

Below the timer is a sliding display of tips and tricks for better efficiency in using the Pomodoro Technique, as well as the basics of how the method works.

3. Marinara Timer

Marinara Timer is the most simplified version of a Pomodoro Timer imaginable. It allows you to set a customer timer, but the site consists of nothing more than a huge display of numbers, with a pause and restart button underneath.

Below the timer, the site tracks the start and stop time of each of your sessions. It’s simple, straightforward, and perhaps the best bet for beginners.


After a few times using it, the Pomodoro Technique will become second-nature. Until then, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Work in intervals. 25 minutes is the default, but 30 minute and 15 minute sessions are fine. Whatever works for you.

Take a break. After your first 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break. After two sessions, take a 10 minute break. Stand up, walk around, and get your blood pumping.

Focus only on the task at hand. Unless it’s an emergency, save any other tasks for your breaks in between Pomodoro sessions. Use the time you’ve set aside to focus on your most important tasks.

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