» 2014 » July

How 3D Printing Is Speeding Up Small Businesses

July 24, 2014

Check out this recent article from Bloomberg Businessweek on the benefits of 3D printing to your small business:

Since David Friedfeld took over ClearVision Optical from his father in 1985, he’s seen most eyewear manufacturing move overseas. The 120-employee company, based in Hauppauge, N.Y., is bringing a small piece of it back. Last year, Friedfeld purchased an entry-level 3D printer for just under $3,000. He still does the bulk of his manufacturing abroad, but he can now print eyeglass prototypes in-house.

The device “has taken three months off our production cycle [and] allowed us to stay closer to the market,” he says. “We are able to get far more creative.” He’s so bullish on 3D printing that he’s planning a design-it-yourself website that will allow customers to build their own frames, try them on with facial recognition software, and then click to have ClearVision print and ship them a few trial pairs.

That kind of enthusiasm seems contagious among small business owners who are trying out 3D printing technology, says Daniel Levine, a consumer trends expert and director of the Avant-Guide Institute. He’s been following 3D printing closely for several years, though he says the technology only jumped into mainstream consciousness about two years ago, when the first affordable printers became available.

Read Full Article

What is Webrooming? Boost Your Retail Sales

July 23, 2014

Check out this recent article from Small Business Trends on “webrooming” and how it can help retail businesses:

Are you a small retailer in a cold sweat about showrooming? This trend where customers browse in-store but then buy products online, began striking fear into retailers’ hearts a few years ago.

Who wants customers coming in, trying on or feeling the products you offer, and then buying them at a deep discount from Amazon or some other site?

The trend was especially unsettling for small, independent retailers. While big national chains with huge volume may be able to afford to price-match online sellers, independents are less likely to be able to do so without losing their shirts.

But a new report from Merchant Warehouse suggests that instead of stressing about showrooming, small retailers should welcome “webrooming.”

Read Full Article

8 Questions Your Retargeting Vendor Doesn’t Want You to Ask

July 22, 2014

Check out this recent article from ClickZ on things to lookout for if your vendor is in the process of retargeting:

While there are many things you should ask a potential retargeting vendor, these eight fundamental questions are the right place to start.

Retargeting is built on data collection. And some of the most important data you’ll ever collect is on your site retargeting vendor. Choosing a retargeting vendor isn’t easy – especially when so many vendors are selling their services with jargon and buzzwords that tell you very little about what they actually do. You don’t need to be a tech whiz or to have an engineering degree to choose a vendor, but you do need to be able to ask the right questions. Here are eight fundamental questions that will help get you started:

Read Full Article

Improve the Online Reputation of Your Restaurant or Bar in 3 Simple Steps

July 21, 2014

Check out this recent article from AllBusiness Experts on improving your restaurant’s reputation:

How do you decide on a restaurant or bar? If you’re like most consumers, rather than reading articles from known food critics or studying the menu, you likely take out your smartphone and search the social landscape for more information. Have your friends eaten there? How many stars does it have? How are the margaritas?

If you own a bar or a restaurant, you have the opportunity to build a strong online reputation for your business, leading to more trust and more customers demanding your tasty treats. According to recent data, 88 percent of people value online reviews as much as the opinions of their friends and family. Yelp, TripAdvisor, and local listing sites have replaced personal suggestions and print advertisements.

Read Full Article

Twitter Now Offers Analytics Even to Those Who Don’t Buy Ads

July 20, 2014

Check out this recent article from Small Business Trends on free analytic services from Twitter:

While brands that advertise on Twitter have long had access to analytics within Twitter’s ad platform, now the rest of us get our hands on the good stuff too.

Twitter recently announced that all “advertisers, Twitter Card publishers, and verified users” now have access to these rich analytics. Here’s what a Twitter Card is, in case you were wondering:

There’s some great data here.

First, you can see how many impressions a single tweet reached, as well as the number and percentage of engagements. And then you can get data that compares to last month. So perhaps your retweets might be up 43% this month over last, while your link clicks are down 17%. You can also learn whether tweets over a few days old are still gathering impressions, for example.

Read Full Article