While nearly every rate for every service is going up, there are plenty of ways to help you mitigate the impact on your shipping costs. In fact, in one study, almost half of the participants had opportunities to actually reduce shipping costs by simply re-evaluating their carrier and service selection process.

shipping_costs

This is an excerpt, a teaser, if you will, from a full article found here.

You may find opportunities to reduce the impact of the changes in shipping costs in the following areas:

Carriers

Now is definitely the time of year to re-evaluate—and potentially re-negotiate—your carrier relationships.

Customers care more about getting their packages on time and intact—metrics on which all three carriers perform relatively evenly – then which carrier is used. If cost is the only differentiator, other issues being equal, the winner is usually…

Delivery Timeframes

While some of your packages may take three days to arrive via Priority Mail, a similar number will probably arrive overnight. The USPS mapping tool makes it easy to estimate the delivery time. Given that Priority Mail rates are typically 50-75% lower than Fedex and UPS second-day service rates, it’s worth considering the USPS option. If you decide to switch, update your website to show the 2-3 day delivery change. While you’re at it, this is the perfect time to add 4x Buyer Protection services for your online visitors. Besides price matching and identity theft protection, 4x also provides shipping insurance.

As an added bonus, USPS will deliver free…

Packaging

An often overlooked opportunity to lower shipping costs lies in optimizing packaging.

 

Priority Mail Regional Rate boxes come in four styles and sizes and allow shipment of contents up to 15 pounds (Box A). You can also choose box B (20 pounds) for a rate that varies only according to destination zone. This often has lower shipping costs than the same rate for a similar custom-boxed package.

In one study, it was found that packaging selection played a role in the cost savings for almost two-thirds of the potential 2017 shipments. In one case, switching to a flat-rate box would save the company shipping the product more than…

There are significant changes in 2017 regarding shipping costs. Optimizing shipping operations is more important than ever. Carriers have been forthcoming with information, but…


Read the complete article on Trust Guard’s Blog:
http://www.4xbuyerprotection.info/shipping-costs-increase-2017/

Which online business services do you need?

Protection from Hackers &  More Sales? Trust Guard
Customer Ratings & Reviews? Shopper Approved
Live Chat & Customer Support Software? Rhino Support
A Significant Increase in Conversions? 4x Buyer Protection
Free Privacy Policy? FreePrivacyPolicy.com


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Special thanks to Katie May, CEO of ShippingEasy for her article found here.

 

 

 

Four Tips to Improve Relationships with Your Customers

customer_relations

Tip #1 ~ Use live chat 24 hours a day

Before your customers become customers, and forever thereafter, they need a way to contact you that is convenient and effective. Live chat is the perfect solution to almost every problem, question, and concern. The great thing about live chat is that it is live! There is no need to wait for someone to…

Tip #2 ~ Immediately offer new customers something valuable for free

Most of the time, you can figure out a way to get the customer what they want while getting what you want at the same time. Let’s take, for example, social media. Your customer has just signed up. You call her to thank her and answer any questions she might have. Then you say, I would like to promote you on Facebook/Google +/Twitter. Is there anything specific that you would like…

Tip #3 ~ Ask for Referrals

If you never ask, you’ll never get any referrals. But if you ask, you might be pleasantly surprised. Seven years ago I did a little experiment for Trust Guard, the leader in website security. For three weeks, all I did was call their new customers and make sure that they were able to get their sales-increasing trust seals uploaded onto their sites. Then I…

Tip #4 ~ Give Discounts for Add-ons & Upgrades

Once a customer becomes a customer, the goal is to get them to stay a customer for as long as possible. But that’s only a third of the goal. Next, we want them to be loyally ecstatic about being our customer – that way they will tell all their friends and family how awesome we are! Third, we want to…


Read the complete article on Trust Guard’s Blog:
http://epicecommercetools.com/2017/01/03/four-tips-to-improve-client-relations/


Which online business services do you need?

Protection from Hackers &  More Sales? Trust Guard
Customer Ratings & Reviews? Shopper Approved
Live Chat & Customer Support Software? Rhino Support
A Significant Increase in Conversions? 4x Buyer Protection
Free Privacy Policy? FreePrivacyPolicy.com


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Which Shipping Provider is Cheapest & Fastest?
Close the Deal with Live Chat
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Your Customers Should Love How You Solve Problems

People are looking to buy things easily and resolve issues even more easily. Here are some tips about giving online visitors the chance to buy and receive your products effortlessly.

loyalty_w_problems

Shipping Clarity

Free shipping is the best shipping policy, but if offering free shipping is not an option, it’s critical to at least make shipping policies known to your customers before they reach the checkout process. No one wants to be surprised by a last-minute, unexpected shipping charge. It’s a good idea to highlight your shipping policies prominently on your website. This way, users understand the process before they reach the checkout page. Providing shipping insurance for customers is one way to go above and beyond for them.

Returns + Refunds

When shopping online, the need for a generous return policy is even greater than when shopping in brick and mortar stores. This is because the customer does not know precisely how an item will fit or what it will look like when it arrives. Without a generous return policy, e-commerce retailers risk losing customers who are worried they’ll be stuck with a product they don’t love. Outline your return policies thoroughly on your website. Users who can’t find information on returns may give up the purchase process altogether. You will have gone to all the trouble of setting up your website for nothing.

4x Buyer Protection

One of the easiest ways to solve customer concerns before and after the sale is by offering your visitors 4x Buyer Protection. 4x gives online visitors peace of mind. It lets them know that you have their back – that you care about their buying experience. 4x is a win-win product. It solves shipping, price match, and identity theft issues for your customers. It also increases your sales significantly – even without increasing your traffic! But your traffic will increase because happy customers tell their friends and families about positive experiences.

Your online visitors should feel confident when they go to the check-out page. 4x Buyer Protection makes that possible.


Read the rest of the article here:
http://www.4xbuyerprotection.info/solve-problems/


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Need a way to increase your sales without increasing your traffic?
4x Buyer Protection can help!

Which Shipping Provider is Cheapest & Fastest?

There are three big shipping services—FedEx, United Parcel Service (UPS), and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). They all deliver to nearly every address in the U.S., and they’ll all get your parcels to more than 200 countries and territories. But there are some key differences between them.

shipping

Price of Shipping

If the cost of shipping something to yourself or to those you love is your main concern, the USPS is often the way to go, but it pays to check around. We compared shipping costs offered by FedEx, UPS, and the USPS between 30 pairs of cities around the country for a 5-pound medium-sized package.

The USPS prices were best for next-day delivery in all cases and for third-day delivery in 88 percent of our city pairs. FedEx, however, was the least expensive courier for second-day service in every instance, but it was least expensive for third-day service in just 13 percent of deliveries.

Read the full article here:
http://www.4xbuyerprotection.info/509-2/


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Close the Deal with Live Chat

There are two basic business strategies. Namely, resolve all the concerns of your potential customers, then ask them for the sale.

If you are an online business owner, the best way to close the deal using these two strategies is through live chat.

When people have questions or concerns, they don’t want to pick up the phone anymore. What a hassle! They don’t want to email you either for fear they may never get an answer or that your company will forever spam them with things they don’t need.

close_the_deal

In today’s world, most online customers want the convenience, anonymity, and quick, effective service that only a live chat service like Rhino Support can provide. Your live chat support agents should be taught all the ins-and-outs of your business. They should be courteous and informative. And after they have resolved all of their potential customers’ concerns, they must be trained to ask for the order.

Connect live chat to your website and hire a friendly support team that knows how to close the deal and you will be successful.


Read the full article here:
http://blog.rhinosupport.com/close-the-deal/


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Don’t Give Hackers the Combination to Your Digital Safe!

Are you a business owner? If so, some of your most treasured and valuable possessions are kept within the solid, steel-like confines of your website and its server. Just as you should lock and protect your tangible safe with all its valuable possessions, so should you do with your digital safe.

safe_combination

“I’m not worried,” you say, “I have an SSL certificate.” Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but an SSL certificate doesn’t lock and protect your website. It just locks and protects credit card transactions. And just to keep the “digital safe” analogy going, once you have given hackers access to your website by not scanning it for security vulnerabilities, they will open it. Once open, they can edit the combination to your digital safe, sending all your customers’ credit card information securely and safely (locked and protected through the SSL) to their bank instead of yours.

Legitimate business owners keep their websites protected and safe from hackers by having Trust Guard run daily security scans to check for vulnerabilities. Don’t think your site has issues and that it never will? Think again. 86% of the time, when Trust Guard scans a website for the first time, it fails. 86%. That’s more than 4 out of every 5 websites. Now how confident do you feel? Visit Trust Guard today! Contact Shayne@trust-guard.com. He’ll give your website a free initial scan to let you know if you’ve already given hackers the combination to your digital safe.


Read the rest of the article here:
http://epicecommercetools.com/2016/12/19/whats-the-combination-to-your-digital-safe/


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How to Recover from Business Setbacks
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Care More about Your Customers!

How to Recover from Business Setbacks

Facing setbacks, whether it’s not hitting projected growth, inventory markups, or it’s losing a key employee, are part of the risks of doing business.

business_setbacks

While most companies may only highlight their successes to the public, it’s important to understand that every business has its own group of challenges. The key is to recognize the issues and then take the necessary actions to move forward.

Let’s explore how your team can bounce back from a growth setback. I have included here only the titles of the ways to recover. To get all the details, you need to read the full article.

Reassess Your Business Strategy

Deliver Customer Value

Differentiate Your Product

Hire Employees With Diverse Skill Sets

Continue to Seek Growth Opportunities

Aim to Recover

Challenges are inevitable in business. It’s vital to understand how to handle setbacks when they occur. Reevaluate your strategy to ensure it fits your desired outcomes. Deliver unmatched customer value that competitors can’t duplicate. And continue to seek partnership opportunities that will benefit your brand.

Push through setbacks. Work to grow your business.


Read the complete article here:
http://www.4xbuyerprotection.info/business-setbacks/

To access the benefits of 4x Buyer Protection, click here:
http://4xbuyerprotection.com


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Live Chat: The Perfect Matchmaker!
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Live Chat: The Perfect Matchmaker!

Many of us remember the lyrics “Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a Match” found in the beloved musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Those of us who are still single or single again can relate with its message.

But let’s look at matchmaking from a business owner’s point of view. Don’t all business owners want to be matched with loyal, compatible customers? I believe we do. And that’s where live chat jumps boldly and effortlessly into the conversation.

matchmaker

Live chat is the perfect online matchmaker between a website’s visitor and its owner (or customer service team – which should always serve as an extension of the owner’s vision and ideals). Without live chat, these people may never get a chance to get together.

You see, would-be customers are often hesitant to commit. They want to commit, but they may have been disenchanted or lied to in the past. Would-be customers hope that this relationship will last forever, but they may fear being let down again. They have a few simple questions but don’t want to pick up the phone or send an email. If this partnership is going to work, they want to know that their concerns will be addressed immediately, with minimal effort on their part.

This is where live chat can make a home-maker out of a fence-sitter.


Read the full article here:
http://blog.rhinosupport.com/live-chat-perfect-matchmaker/


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Tips to Improve Your Email Security

You should definitely do what you can to secure your e-mail from casual snooping:

email_security

1. Use an account from a major provider like Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo. Do they get hacked? Yes. Are they safer than most? Yes.

2. Use a strong password and two-factor authentication enabled. If your phone uses a fingerprint reader, take advantage of that added convenience by locking your phone with a strong alphanumeric password. Target a 12- to 14-character minimum, since shorter passwords are more susceptible to brute force attacks – the longer and more random the better. Two-step authentication (or 2FA) means using a combination of multiple credentials to get into your account, usually a password and a six-digit code sent to your phone or generated by an authenticator app.
3. For truly sensitive communications that you want to keep private, use Signal or WhatsApp or even Facebook Messenger’s “Secret Conversations” feature.


Read the full article here:
http://epicecommercetools.com/2016/12/05/top-three-email-security-tips/


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Hackers Drive Away in Tesla Cars by Accessing Mobile App

According to SCMagazineUK, Norwegian app security firm Promon has demonstrated through research that cyber-criminals could take control of Tesla vehicles, to the point where they can locate, unlock and drive the car away unhindered. Such a hack, possible by exploiting a lack of security in their smartphone app, gives criminals total control of the vehicle, providing additional functionality to that exposed by Keen Security Labs in a different hack in late September.

tesla_vulnerable

This is all done by attacking and taking control of the Tesla app. This underlines the vital importance of app security, and the wider implications this could have for IoT-connected devices in general. (IoT refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other internet-enabled devices and systems.) Most people understand the importance of online website security – and only visiting sites that constantly check for vulnerabilities, but few consider the potential issues with mobile security.

Read the complete article here:
http://www.onlinewebsitesecurity.com/tesla-cars-hacked/

Want an awesome deal on protecting your website from hackers?
Trust Guard is offering their security scanning services and other products at 50% off for a limited time. Just visit Trust Guard.com and then enter the secret discount code: STO50.

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