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Who does not like increasing sales and a bigger profit margin? However, as alluring it may sound; it is as difficult a proposition to materialize in reality. Can increase in sales help you to substantially improve profit margins? Even if you believe to answer in the affirmative, there are several hitches and glitches that can derail the process.

Here are a few ways as to how you can boost your profit margin in business effectively:

1. Fixing Different levels in Price value
This is a business tactic that has been implemented by several entities in which a certain product is offered in various categories differentiated by quality, version and price. The purpose of this business strategy is to reap the best profit margin from targeted customers, while providing options for all customers to choose the range of products as per their choice and budget.

2. Create Pricing to Cash on the Emotional Needs 
Here pricing is created primarily to reap the advantage of the emotional needs of a person instead of the actual cost. It is more about targeting the pulse of human emotion, which can be a fairly abstract concept like indulgence or self-esteem (to own a Bentley), urgency (immediate requirement), attraction by brand name (Gucci handbags), rare (a Monet painting) or limited stock product and vindicating fear (travel insurance, etc.).  

3. Differential Pricing Of the Same Product
This involves setting difference price value for the same product such as seats in movie tickets, airfares, etc. depending on the consumer’s preference and ability to pay. Differential pricing is also made applicable sometimes for the same product in different locations.

4. Offering the Versioning option
This is a very sensible form of pricing where products are sold in different version – sizes, quality, quantity and make – creating a price differential; thus offering consumers the option to choose as per their own requirement. So, if someone needs to buy paint for their house they can choose the kind of paint they would like to buy – distemper, plastic paint, etc. and that too in different sizes as per the requirement. So, this is a win-win situation for both the consumer and the merchant as he/she too can enhance the profit margin just by understanding and tapping on the needs of the purchaser.

5. Figure Out & Analyze Your Gross Profit Margin
Keep yourself updated on the latest and updated overall gross profit margin of your Company. Compare and make an analysis as to how your business or organization fares in the industry average. Many a times, the overall gross profit margin could be misleading.

Thereby, it is imperative that you find out the gross profit margin on each of your products separately and make due analysis of your gross margins above diverse product categories, customer categories or business divisions bestowing to your business. This will not only help you to identify the low profit margin or loss-making items, but also highlight the profitable ones to focus on.

6. What is the ‘right’ price point?
Finding the right price point requires a lot of strategy and decision-making. Keep a track on the sales that you make at your lowest price point and compare it with the number of sales you conduct at a higher price point. Find the highest point when you managed to make the maximum sales and compare if keeping the pricing high and making fewer sales can still boost your profit margin.

7. Stay away from Competing on Pricing
Competing on pricing with your contemporaries in business is just as good as inviting your own doom. It is better that you compete on other parameters like providing superior quality products and offering added-value for your services so as to create a separate and higher price range. This way you can even get to boost your profit margin in business.

8. Discounting can be Dangerous
Do not get carried away by frivolous discounting for your business as it may seriously destroy your profit margins even before you actually realize it. So, if you are targeting a profit margin of 50 percent, then on discounting 10 percent, you will require a 25 percent increase in sales.

9. Recognize low margin customers and turn them into profitable ones
One of the great ways to boost your overall profit margins is by identifying the low-margin or not-so profitable customers; and turn them into more profitable ones. And if the initiative does not work in your favor, you may reconsider forsaking them from the priority customer list. Although it sounds to be an extreme proposition, it is better in the larger interest of the business – and allows you to focus your marketing initiatives and promotions on your profitable customers.

10. Identify excess in your business process to improve efficiencies
Every business has to deal with inefficiency, but to take appropriate steps to reduce them is an opportunity one should take to boost your profit margins. This requires that organizations identify and understand the waste factor in their business and try to minimize or eliminate it. This is pivotal to improving efficiency as studies have revealed that wastes constitute 30 percent of the operating costs of a business.

Bonus! Do not hesitate to ask Questions
Hesitation can be the biggest deterrent to achievements and a certain gateway to failures. Clarifying doubts and doing away with misconception can prevent many unnecessary delays in project implementation. Shed your inhibitions and ask as many questions possible to your client till you are satisfied and have got the clarity of concepts. This can not only get your work done in one go, saving extra hours, thus increasing sales and profit margin.

SYNOPSIS

Here in the aforementioned article, I’ve tried to present as many ways as to how you can boost your profit margin in business. I’m sure you can reap the benefits by implementing some of them into your business process.
What has been your strategy to improve profit margin in business as of now? We’d like to hear from you.

This article written by Ellis associated with VITEB, a company providing pioneering services in web development, PHP development, Magento development based in India.

Google has recently launched a new tool - Structured Data markup Helper – that can help you add structured data to your web pages via microdata, microformats or RDFa. So, what actually is structured data? While most of you must be aware of it, here is a short introduction for all my friends who aren’t sure about it.

STRUCTURED DATA MARKUP HELPER – AN INTRODUCTION

Search engines are known to have a difficult time decoding the content of a web page. Many a times it is found that some components that that might seem obvious for humans can be challenging for search engines. So, it is rightfully the implementation of structured data that will help them comprehend your content.

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Search engines can now use this information in the ensuing stage to generate rich snippets, i.e. small pieces of information which appear in the search results. Just try searching for any information like a Restaurant in Google and you will be amazed to find ‘rich snippets’ in the form of star-ratings, number of reviews, thumbnails and author pictures.

In short, structured data is nonetheless the impeccably effective (yet additional) information that can be added to the HTML markup of a page. Not only does it help search engines to understand elements of a site’s structure better, the rich snippets provided alongside normal results are found to offer more relevant and productive results for the user. While, the Structured Data Markup Helper is based on the microdata markup.

HOW ‘EFFECTIVE’ CAN STRUCTURED DATA MARKUP HELPER BE FOR YOUR BUSINESS

- A competitive web strategy implies that a richer-looking or a higher-ranking result is more likely to have a higher Click through Rate. And experts reveal that if your site performs well following the click like fast load time and low bounce rate etc. there are chances that you may benefit from increased rankings. Search engines gather structured data, which in a number of ways can help increase Click through Rates and subsequently ranking position.

- A user is more likely to click your site appearing in search results, containing rich snippets such as review ratings – as it can help improve the credibility of a website.

- Marking up your site address with structured data for Local search would signify that a search engine understands your business location better. This may also lead to your address appear in the search result as a rich snippet, thus making your website look more relevant when a local search is performed’ even to the extent of it appearing higher on the page as a search result.

- Surveys have indicated that results comprising a Rich Snippet is likely to appear more relevant to the user, which might eventually help them make an informed decision as to whether they would like to click on your business.

‘GETTING STARTED’ WITH STRUCTURED DATA MARKUP HELPER

The Structured Data Markup Helper tool from Google can be found at google.com/webmasters/markup-helper/ or in Google Webmaster Tools under Other Resources > Structured Data Markup Helper.


Here you will find two prominent tabs – Website and Email. While the website tab opens up to several data types such as Articles, Events, Local businesses, Movies, Products, Restaurants, Software applications and TV episodes; the Email tab contains certain reservations.

Start with tagging

Although this tool does not include other data types such as Books, Reviews, Landmarks, etc. you can start by submitting a web page (URL or HTML source) and tag the key properties of the relevant data type. Just simply select the element with your cursor, and in the pop-up menu you can select the correct property. Once you tag an element, it will be added to the right sidebar.

But what if you accidentally tagged the wrong element or used the wrong data type? Well, you can simply remove the tag by clicking the ‘clear tag’ button. If things go horribly wrong, you may even consider removing all the tagged information by clicking the cog wheel in the top right corner and selecting ‘clear all tags from this page’.

There is also the ‘missing tags’ function, which you can use for tags (that are simply missing or with imbedded data) and those that can’t be highlighted on the page. So, if you would like to add a URL, simply add it manually via the missing tags feature.

Create HTML

Once you are done, the Structured Data Markup Helper generates sample HTML code (with microdata markup included). You can then download and use it as a guide - as you implement structured data on your website. Moreover, the Structured Data Markup Helper tool supports a subset of data types – comprising all the types supported by Data Highlighter as well as those numerous types used for embedding structured data in Gmail.

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Pros and Cons – Structured Data Markup Helper

Like every great product, this Google tool too has its limitations. One of the most dominant advantages of Structured Data Markup Helper is its user-friendly visual tool. All you need to do is simply select the element on the page and add it to the appropriate property, without worrying about choosing and implementing the correct markup.

One of the prominent disadvantages of Structured Data Markup Helper tool is that there is very limited selection of data types (Articles, Events, Local businesses, Movies, Products, Restaurants, Software applications and TV episodes). So, if you are a webmaster looking for more specific data types, then you will have to refer to other sources (viz. schema)

Also, the lack of knowledge transfer is proving to be a big disadvantage. Owing to the tool performing all or most of the task, the user fails to understand structured data and know its markup, practical details and basics – considered essential for its correct implementation.

SYNOPSIS

As we can make out from the above article that structured data is a very useful inclusion to any website. And if you haven’t yet introduced yourself to the concept, waste no time as Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper is a great tool to help you with the same.

This article written by Josh Jacobs, Business Development Manager with VITEB, a company providing pioneering services in web development based in India having expertise in web design & development, enterprise web & enterprise application development and mobile application development. Find Josh on LinkedIn & Facebook.

Customers never enjoyed the power to be heard before. While companies spend millions and millions of dollars on traditional advertising, it could take just one disgruntled customer to bring you down. Be it praising products or poor after sales service, customer feedback can go viral in a matter of seconds. It is never easy to deal with angry or dissatisfied clients, but as part of our roles we have to do our best to save situation or face serious consequences. One such tool that helps you tackle negative feedback and reach out to clients is HootSuite. 

HootSuite: How does it works? 

This tool is a social media management system, mainly used for brand management. HootSuite allows you to post on several media venues from your personal/business account(s). The social media sites covered by HootSuite include: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Myspace, WordPress, and Mixi. With HootSuite, you can compose posts and schedule them to be published at time of your choice. HootSuite provides full and lite versions to meet your requirements. While the user base of HootSuite is rapidly increasing, business owners are yet to explore the potential to gain maximum business advantage. 

What the heck is Hootsuite Keyword Search Stream? 

HootSuite provides users effective ways to import vital information from social media accounts. This information is further divided into individual streams, such as your direct messages and home feed mentions for Twitter accounts. These streams get automatically updated when you synchronize your social accounts. Most users don’t effectively use this option and are not aware additional streams can be customized. These streams allow Hootsuite to weed through social media accounts to identify keywords that may represent a value to your brand.

In this post I’ll explain how to setup HootSuite’s feature; the Keyword Search Stream. This feature will help increase sales and gather leads for your business and improve customer service experience.  Here’s a step by step guide to setting up your Keyword Search Stream:

1. Sign into your HootSuite account

2. Click ‘Add Stream’ under twitter account tab

3. Add the keywords you’d like to keep track of 

4. Click “Create Stream” when you’re done

5. Once you have added the stream, it will appear under your Twitter tab

6. Tweets containing selected keywords will be displayed and updated regularly 

This feature will help you to identify prospects that are talking about or searching for your products or service. You can monitor the opinion of your industry peers through this HootSuite feature tool.  

Will it save my company from customer rant or help me build my brand?

Keyword Search Stream provides your brand a phenomenal way to connect and interact with your target audience and customers. Use this tool to pull your customers towards your brand, address their grievances and not simply delete negative feedback. You need to think bigger picture and transcend beyond a single sale. 

Here is how your company can benefit from utilizing HootSuite’s Keyword Search Stream in your Social Media Strategy:  

1) Easy Monitoring: This monitoring tool will let you keep track of your brand activity and target keywords. Don’t take it easy, always keep an eye on your brand. It would be a cardinal sin to just limit yourself to Facebook and/or Twitter.

2) Kills passive approach: You can take user engagement to the next level in an effective manner. Don’t just wait for customers to reach out to you, rather be more proactive and track them down. Keyword Search Stream allows you to be where your customers are and when they need you the most. 

3) Support anytime, anywhere, always: Negative word travels lightening fast on social networks. By effectively using Keyword Search Stream you can respond quickly, especially to negative feedback.  An excruciatingly slow response can harm your company’s reputation in an unimaginable way. Nothing promotes positive client experience than solving consumer questions, replacing defective product, giving a refund, sending an expert technician to fix a glitch, and much more.

4) Equal customer support no matter big or small client: When you’re focusing on long-term success, you need to treat every single user as king – irrespective of big or small client. It is easy how you can convert small clients to enterprise level clients with your attentiveness, by merely sending tips or direct messages.  

Conclusion:

With the majority of disgruntled customers turning to social media to voice their grievances about a company to the world, social networking sites can be a company’s worst foe. But if used properly to engage customers, social media can help company not just to address customer grievance, but also increase revenue and gather business leads.

Author Bio:

This article written by VITEB - Web Development India based company that offers complete web & mobile application development solutions.

Microsoft is known for its path-breaking innovations in revolutionizing the computer era with its MS-Windows series. However, it received much flak since it endeavor to pioneer another ‘touch’ revolution by introducing Windows 8 in October 2012. Windows 8 has indeed been a challenging and brave attempt by Microsoft to keep up with the needs of the changing times when smartphones and tablets with a completely different interface are sharing browsing space with traditional PCs.

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A QUICK LOOK AT THE WINDOWS 8 STORY…. 

There had been a lot of hullabaloo and excitement regarding the launch of Windows 8, which was designed to be used both on touch-screen tablets and traditional PCs. However, post-release the reactions certainly have been mixed – while touch-screen users are appreciating the new ‘tile-based’ interface, mostly PC users are finding the new design confusing.

Statistics indicate that the Window 8 sale since its release in October last year has exceeded the 100 million mark. At the same time, the technology giant is trying to strike a viable balance between making its presence felt in the emerging tablet market; and tackling the pressures of meeting business goals in this fast declining PC user base.

MICROSOFT WINDOWS 8.1 FEATURES - REDESIGNED FOR YOU

It’s official! Putting an end to all speculations regarding the upgrading of Windows 8, Microsoft has recently released Windows 8.1 during its annual developer’s conference in San Francisco. A more elaborate update on this issue suggests that the free test version of the update is available for download now and the full version will be released to Windows 8 users later this year.

- The ‘Start’ Button is Back: The dominance of Windows OS in the life of people and its influence on generations of PC users is evident from the sound of cheers that followed when Ballmer announced in keynote speech that ‘Let’s make it easier to start applications in the way we are used to.’ This indeed marks the comeback of the Window’s trademark ‘Start’ button with this version 8.1, which was earlier done away in Windows 8. 

Microsoft had since then come under much criticism, from loyal Windows users who could not relate to operating Windows without the start button. However, there has been a gradual progression of developers towards Window’s ‘tile-based’ interface, as Ballmer announced of Windows Store crossing the 100,000 app mark.

- Enhanced Start Screen: The new Windows 8.1 comes with two additional tile sizes for the Start Screen - large (approx. the equivalent of two of our medium ones) and small (about a quarter of a regular one). In order to resize a tile, all you need to do is just hold it down and select the “resize” option available at the bottom of the screen. Again you may decide for yourself whether or not you want the apps you install to automatically show up on the Start Screen. You may or else choose to have a shortcut for every app.

- Lock Screen & Personalization options – The improved Windows 8.1 will provide a few additional personalization options for the Start Screen. This change is available courtesy the addition of Motion Accents where you get to see live backgrounds that move as you scroll through tiles. You can see it is more like the wallpapers available in Android; the only difference is that they are a little more subtle. 

Moreover, Windows 8.1 offers you more to do with the lock screen like, you have the option of running a slideshow on your lock screen where photos keep coming from various places, like your PC and SkyDrive. It also allows you to enable the Camera in lock-screen mode and snap photos without entering a password; but you cannot edit or view older photos in lock screen. You can also accept Skype video and voice calls from the lock screen, just like you usually answer your phone in a lock screen mode. 

- Enhanced Apps Display: This new feature in Windows 8.1 allows users to easily see a list of all their apps in a grid by just swiping down or pressing a button on-screen.

- Improved Search Function: This vastly improved ‘search’ function allows users to search for documents, apps, or items on the Internet from a single search bar. Before we discuss more about it, let me tell you beforehand that “Search” works differently in Windows 8.1 - i.e. here you can expect more actionable results (unlike earlier, where you could just see links to files, settings and apps). This means when you start your search with “st” it will lead you for instance to “storage space”. 

Moreover, you can even play music from the search results – but make sure that your search for an artist or album is based on your Xbox Music collection. Windows 8.1’s search function also features “Search Hero”, which is an app-like layout with results. This again includes web results, photos and deep links to apps that you may have already installed, like Maps or Wikipedia. They look stunning and offer all the information you might possibly need.

- Xbox Service Redesigned: Moreover, the Xbox Music service has also been redesigned with the music-streaming service now available for all versions of Windows 8. There have also been a few new features like improved search and changes to app sizes, to name a few. 

- Integration of ‘cloud-powered photo frame’: You can now see photos stored on the device and in SkyDrive from the lock screen, which is being turned into a ‘cloud-powered photo frame’. 

- Microsoft’s latest browser: Windows 8.1 includes Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft’s latest browser enabling users to restore the address bar and tabs to the screen view.

WILL WINDOWS 8.1 SUCCEED IN UPHOLDING THE BRAND VALUE OF MICROSOFT WINDOWS? 

This is the BIG question which everyone has in their minds. 

Microsoft Windows enthusiasts and industry experts are optimistic that the redesigned and rejuvenated Windows 8.1 will be able to reinstate Microsoft to its original glory as the most valuable and trusted operating system. The Windows developers have been consistently working towards upgrading to Windows 8.1, so as to offer you the much desired experience expected from Microsoft and Windows OS. 

What is your take on this new version of Windows 8.1?

 

Author:

Ellis is a digital marketing strategist. He is passionate about online marketing, web trends and online reputation management. He is working with VITEB – A leading custom web & mobile application development company that offers mobile application development, Magento Development and PHP application development in India.

The growing territory of the internet is drastically changing the way we communicate and perform business so massively. While a large number of retailers want to sell online, a majority of them are constrained by fund or they don’t know how to start a web based business. Well, all they need is a right e-commerce solution.

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 Do You Sell Online? Where?

A large number of merchants are selling their products via eBay and Amazon. Of course there are many other e-commerce portals, but these two ranked at the top. When sellers resort to eBay or Amazon, they incur lots of overhead costs. Moreover, the vendors need to abide rules and policies constituted by these online shopping giants.  At Amazon, you have to compete with the many other sellers from your own domain. If your rival has paid extra amount, their products will be featured on top and yours at the bottom. Moreover, the buyers can directly compare your product costs with those offered by other merchants. If you have your own e-store, you can surely place your products on eBay and Amazon but buyers will get an opportunity to visit your own store as well. Your purpose is to create a point of reference for the customers, which they can go on with.

Get It Right

A perfectly built online store can make it tremendously easy for you to sell and earn online. Take your time and choose reliable and powerful e-commerce website development software. Also, you need to search for a good web-hosting service provider. Most of the e-commerce solution providers offer a comprehensive package that meets all these needs of the sellers. Before embarking on the shopping cart development, do some homework on the internet and learn about SEO and SEM. Know the keywords that are mostly used to search the products you’re offering. Make sure that the company are hiring for the development purpose are aware of search engine optimization. Finally, price your products carefully and perform aggressive marketing.

Don’t Skip On Social Media

There is a plenty of ecommerce development software that has built-in social media options. This facility makes it easier for you as well as your audience to spread any information at an ultrasonic speed. However, you need to be careful while integrating with social communities. In case, any user has a nasty experience with your services, it won’t take him or her long to spread negative words in the air. You need to be conscious to every update in your social media profile, so if something is sprouting out wrongly you can tactfully control it ASAP. Word of mouth is yet one of the best marketing strategies. Once you are all in the limelight, you’re definitely going to make good money online.

Conclusion

So what’s next? Create a full-proof plan and stick to it so that you can improve online sales and make your business thrive on the web. Earning good ROI becomes easy, once you put sincere efforts in the right direction. Use the latest technologies and tools to outpace your competitors!!