Unlocking Business Potential: ShopShipShake – Your Gateway to Global Expansion

In the ever-evolving landscape of international commerce, businesses are constantly seeking ways to broaden their horizons and stay competitive. The allure of global markets, especially those brimming with innovative and affordable products, is hard to resist. For South African businesses, this desire for expansion often leads to the question: How can we tap into the vast world of opportunities in China and bring those benefits home?

Enter ShopShipShake – the answer to your business expansion aspirations. Unlike conventional e-commerce platforms, ShopShipShake is exclusively designed to serve the needs of South African businesses. This article delves into why ShopShipShake is your premier gateway to seamless business growth.

A Platform Exclusively for Business Clients

ShopShipShake’s primary mission is to cater to the unique demands of businesses in South Africa. Our platform is your virtual bridge connecting you with Chinese suppliers and the vast array of products they offer. Whether you’re an established business owner looking to diversify your product offerings or an entrepreneur seeking to venture into new markets, ShopShipShake is your strategic partner.

The Advantages of Choosing Shopshipshake

  1. Supplier Diversity: Our extensive network boasts over 1,000,000+ suppliers, enabling you to explore a wide range of options. This diversity empowers your business to diversify its product catalog and remain competitive in a dynamic market.
  2. Streamlined Logistics: We understand the complexities of international sourcing, shipping, and storage. WithShopShipShake, you can shift your focus from logistics to growth while we handle these intricate aspects on your behalf. It’s a partnership where your success becomes our mission.
  3. Customized Solutions: We recognize that every business is unique, and our solutions are tailored to meet your specific goals and requirements. Our commitment is to make our relationship feel more like a partnership than just a transaction.

Additional Advantages

ShopShipShake offers a host of additional advantages to make your business expansion journey as smooth as possible:

  • Stable Supply Chain: Our platform provides a stable supply chain that includes product supply, shipping, and secure storage. This ensures a seamless end-to-end process for your business.
  • Payment in South African Rand: Convenience is paramount, and we’ve got you covered. We now support payments in South African Rand, making transactions even more straightforward for our South African business clients.
  • Fast and Affordable Deliveries: Our partnership with trusted logistics companies guarantees swift and reasonably priced deliveries. Say goodbye to long shipping times and exorbitant fees.
  • 1688.com Partnership: Through our collaboration with 1688.com, one of China’s premier e-commerce platforms, we gain access to an extensive array of suppliers and products, enriching our catalog and broadening your sourcing options.
  • Shopify Partnership in Africa: Our partnership with Shopify in Africa opens up new avenues for businesses to thrive in the African market, further solidifying our commitment to providing top-notch e-commerce solutions.
  • Dedicated IT Technology Group: We continuously invest in technology and have a dedicated team of IT experts working to improve and optimize our platform, delivering the best user experience possible.
  • Professional Product Inspection: Quality is paramount. Our professional product inspectors meticulously review items before they reach you, ensuring the highest standards for your business.

ShopShipShake is not just an e-commerce platform; it’s your trusted partner in unlocking the world of Chinese products for your business. If you’re a business owner seeking growth opportunities or looking to diversify your product offerings, Shopshipshake is here to make your journey seamless and rewarding. Join us today and experience the difference of doing business with Shopshipshake!

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/register/business

Retail vs. Ecommerce: How Are They Different?

Online retailers continue to grow in popularity and profitability, accounting for nearly 21% of retail sales worldwide. But that’s not to say physical retail stores are falling behind.

As many as 31% of brands plan to establish or expand their physical retail footprint in 2023.

Both retail and ecommerce businesses sell products or services to an individual consumer. But the way retail sales are made is quite different from the way ecommerce sales are done—and the advantages and limitations are different, too.

How do retail sales work?

Retail sales are sales made in physical stores using a point of sale (POS) system. Brick-and-mortar retail includes everything from large retail chains—like shopping malls and grocery stores—to smaller, individual-led stores (think pop-up shops and farmers markets).

Three images of Shopify POS, someone using it on a laptop (left); tablet and mobile POS on counter (center); mobile POS app (right)

Retail stores use a business model that relies on a supply chain—and they’re the last link in that chain before the products or services reach customers. Goods go from manufacturer to wholesaler to distributor to brick-and-mortar store to, finally, consumer.

How do ecommerce sales work?

Ecommerce business sales are those made digitally. Purchases online can be made via ecommerce stores or social media.

Compared to their retail counterparts, ecommerce business models typically have less steps in their supply chain. That’s because online retailers have more options when it comes to stocking and shipping their goods.

Two of the most popular methods are dropshipping and direct to consumer (DTC). With dropshipping, an ecommerce business sells products that are stocked and shipped to consumers from a third party. By comparison, DTC is when goods are sold directly to consumers without the involvement of wholesalers or third-party retailers.

Screenshot of Abysse homepage
Abysse is a swimwear brand and Shopify merchant that maintains an ecommerce website.

Retail vs. ecommerce for consumers 

Shopping in a retail store means traveling to a dedicated brick-and-mortar location, browsing items, completing a purchase with the help of a salesperson, and then taking the goods home.

On the other hand, shopping online has many potential entry points. A consumer can navigate directly to a favorite online retailer, or find a new retail store online via a digital marketing campaign or a suggestion on social media. They then browse for the products they want, compare prices, make a purchase, and wait for those products to be shipped to their home.

Making the decision between which is the best fit comes down to the type of shopping experience the customer prefers, the level of customer service engagement desired, and which shopping experience is more convenient for a customer’s lifestyle.

The shopping experience

  • How they’re similar: Both retail and ecommerce businesses rely on tactics like merchandising and curation to enhance the shopping experience and display products in an appealing way. Brand identity also plays an important role in both mediums as a way to establish familiarity and consistency.
  • How they’re different: Online, shoppers have to rely on things like product descriptions, imagery, and reviews to make their decisions. They can also do a bit more research and compare prices for different items across different online retailers.

In a physical retail store, however, shoppers can physically touch and interact with products or services. For example, a customer can sit on a mattress to make sure it’s comfortable or try on shoes to ensure they’re true to size. Data suggests this tactical approach can make consumers feel more confident in their purchases: An estimated 20% of items purchased from online retailers are returned, compared to just 9% of items bought from physical stores.

Customer service

  • How they’re similar: Both retail sales and ecommerce sales leverage customer service to resolve issues for customers, answer questions, and provide help with returns and any post-purchase concerns. 
  • How they’re different: Physical stores offer proactive customer support via sales associates who greet customers, offer help while they’re perusing goods, and assist with checkout once they’re done. 

Ecommerce customer service is more reactive: Customers don’t necessarily need to interact with customer service agents to complete their purchases. Still, a good customer support team will be easy to reach via multiple channels like email, live chat, and social media.


  • How they’re similar: All online retailers and many brick-and-mortar stores offer shipping. The latter depends on the type of retail store—larger items like furniture are typically shipped, and some retail locations will also offer to ship items to you that are out of stock in-store.
  • How they’re different: Shopping online is built around convenience—armed with a computer or smartphone, it’s possible to shop whenever from wherever, easily. And getting to a physical store can be more time consuming. The minutes or hours spent traveling and finding parking can be a time investment.

There’s a monetary investment too—whether paying for transportation by subway to get to a shop or paying for the gas to get there. Still, physical stores offer a sense of instant gratification, since there’s usually no wait for your items to ship—you typically get them then and there.

Someone scanning credit card on Shopify POS mobile app
Shopify POS offers convenience for merchants and shoppers alike. 

Retail vs. ecommerce for businesses

For business owners, choosing between a retail business and ecommerce sales depends on what they’re selling and who they’re selling to. There’s a big difference between an individual selling a few products on their own and a larger, more established business selling hundreds of products to an established base.

Deciding between a retail business and an ecommerce business comes down to understanding specific factors for your business: the initial cost of investment, scope of business operations, and the ability to sell products via multiple channels.

Investment level and cost

  • How they’re similar: The investment level for both retail and ecommerce businesses relies on a variety of factors such as the initial startup costs and the scope of products or services—namely, whether you’re selling a handful of items or hundreds. 
  • How they’re different: Getting an online store up and running is typically less costly than investing in a physical store. The former requires investing in an ecommerce platform, domain hosting, and digital marketing tools, among other things. A brick-and-mortar retail business, however, is a lot more costly and labor intensive. Among the considerations for these new business owners are rental or leasing costs, annual insurance, marketing costs, and more.


  • How they’re similar: Both physical stores and online stores rely on business operations to keep an eye on inventory and track costs. 
  • How they’re different: Brick-and-mortar stores can require a lot of manual work. And that work adds up: costs include hiring employees, maintaining inventory and space, and contending with changes in supply and demand. 

On the other hand, ecommerce business retail operations can largely be automated with a variety of ecommerce tools. These tools help streamline tasks, from day-to-day inventory management to season-long digital marketing campaigns. 

Risks and limitations

How they’re similar: All online retailers and many brick-and-mortar stores open themselves up to the risk of liability associated with the use of their products. Theft and return fraud are also a risk for both.

  • How they’re different: While theft can happen to both physical and online businesses, it can take different forms. Retail stores need to look out for external theft in the form of shoplifting in particular, while ecommerce businesses might be more on the lookout for internal threats. Online businesses tend to be more at-risk for data breaches, though physical retailers aren’t immune to this threat.

Retail and ecommerce business models each have their own set of risks and limitations. However, both need to be on the lookout for theft, data breaches, and fraud.

What to consider when choosing between retail and ecommerce for your business

Ultimately, business owners choosing between retail and ecommerce businesses have three main considerations:

Business model

Certain business models are better suited to retail, while others are better suited to ecommerce. So it’s important to ask questions to help make that determination upfront: Will you be using a wholesaler and distributor? Selling directly to consumers without a third party? Selling products you’ve made on your own?

Start-up costs

Starting any business can be expensive. After figuring out the budget, calculate the overhead and other costs of leasing and running a physical store versus that of using an ecommerce platform like Shopify. Remember: You can always scale up in the future.

Size and scope

Speaking of scaling, consider the business’s size and the number of goods and services being offered. Depending on that answer, you may choose retail, ecommerce, or some combination of both. Think about it this way: You could start a small ecommerce shop for your handmade candles and also offer them at a one-off neighborhood pop-up.

The benefits of an omnichannel approach

In 2023, it’s less about separating retail and ecommerce business and more about integrating the different channels into a single, omnichannel customer experience. Omnichannel is essentially a fancy way of saying consumers can find products both in-store and on a dedicated version of that store online. Today’s shoppers don’t shop online or in-store only, most use a variety of digital and in-person channels to complete their purchase.

Nearly 50% of brands say unifying online and in-store operations and data will be their biggest challenge over the next year. But businesses that successfully adapt with a unified commerce strategy set themselves up for success.

Screenshot of Blendily homepage
Blendily is a Shopify merchant that maintains both an online store and two physical retail locations.

Both retail sales and ecommerce sales improve when products are offered across multiple channels. This means giving consumers multiple touchpoints—whether engaging through social media, customer reviews, or email marketing—so they can find and purchase products with ease.

In fact, almost all major brick-and-mortar stores offer omnichannel retailing. Most ecommerce stores offer multichannel retailing, meaning they sell products across a dedicated ecommerce site via social media and mobile app.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

The article originates from: https://www.shopify.com/blog/retail-ecommerce

How To Make Money On TikTok: 8 Proven Ideas (2023)

Despite only launching internationally in 2017, TikTok has become the authority on what’s hot in culture, politics, fashion, and beyond. TikTok is a force, growing rapidly year over year, and is expected to reach two billion users by 2024. The short form video app has attracted a sizable Gen Z user base, and for entrepreneurs, that’s a lot of marketing potential. 

If you want to leverage TikTok’s massive user base in building your audience, here’s a look at the strategies of some of the social media platform’s top creators and marketers. Get tips on how to make money on TikTok, from fan merch sales to paid subscriptions.

How to make money on TikTok

Deciding how to monetize TikTok users becomes easier once you’ve gained a deeper understanding of your target audience. There’s no single approach to monetization, but the highest earners usually maintain a number of complementary income streams. From sponsored content to organic marketing, the opportunities with TikTok are virtually endless.

Let’s go over eight of the most common ways users earn money on TikTok:

1. Join the TikTok Creativity Program (formerly TikTok Creator Fund)

Users who’ve built up a substantial following might consider making money through the TikTok Creativity Program. Announced in February 2023 and launched in May, this program replaces the TikTok Creator Fund. 

US-based creators with at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 authentic video views within the past 30 days are eligible to join this program, which, as of May 2023, is still in beta. The program should be available to more users in the coming months.


  • Users must be at least 18 years old to sign up
  • Users must meet the minimum follower and video view requirements
  • User accounts will need to be in good standing
  • Creators already enrolled in the TikTok Creator Fund can switch to the Creativity Program

2. Sell merch and other products to your fans

Selling your own products on TikTok is great for monetizing nearly any type of content. Creators⁠—whether they’re a dancer, a singer, or a comedian⁠—can make and sell merch to their most loyal fans.

And with a wide variety of print-on-demand companies on the market, there’s a ton of merchandise to choose from. You might sell t-shirts, tote bags, pillow cases, hats, coffee mugs, stickers, notebooks⁠⁠—or any combination of products.

Selling print-on-demand products even has benefits beyond revenue. Owning branded merch gives your fans a deeper connection to your personal brand, and every follower who wears your merch spreads the word about your business. 

3. Go live and collect virtual gifts

LIVE Gifting is one of TikTok’s most useful features for creators looking to monetize their content through livestreaming.

Most social networks have a livestreaming feature, but what makes TikTok unique is that it allows followers to show their appreciation in real time by sending virtual gifts, which can be redeemed for payment.

Engaging with users in real time is great for building valuable relationships with your fans. Audiences that have a strong connection to a creator tend to develop a personal stake in their success, which means going live can help to boost other monetization streams as well.

4. Partner with TikTok influencers or other brands 

Two influencers create TikTok content

One of the most innovative ways TikTok allows its creators to make money is through its Creator Marketplace.

The Creator Marketplace helps connect the right brands to the right influencers, facilitating partnerships in a way that’s fast and easy for both parties. TikTok makes it incredibly easy to create valuable sponsored content.

Brands looking to run an affiliate marketing campaign can browse the marketplace and quickly shuffle through content made by creators they know are open to collaborations with brands.

The Creator Marketplace acts as an influencer agency, letting both sides indicate their willingness to work with one another, relieving some of the awkwardness of approaching influencers that marketers might experience with influencer marketing on other platforms.

If you’re looking for an easy way to find brands to partner with, generate affiliate links, and manage your brand partnerships all in one place.

5. Create in-feed ads with the TikTok ads manager

TikTok has a ton of great organic marketing opportunities, but if you’re willing to spend a little to expand the reach of your content, you might consider creating your own in-feed ads with the TikTok ads manager.

TikTok ads appear in users’ “For you” feeds and auto-play like any other TikTok video. With paid ads, you can make sure your videos are reaching audiences that are most interested in your products.

But the best part? TikTok’s ad manager seamlessly integrates with Shopify. That means you can create TikTok ads, select a target audience, and track your ad’s performance⁠—all from your Shopify store. TikTok really can be one of the best online marketing tools at your disposal.

6. Crowdfund projects by collecting donations from fans

Crowdfunding is one of the most accessible money-making avenues for creators. You put a lot of time and effort into creating content for your fans⁠, so offering an easy, no-pressure way for them to give back is great for securing a regular income stream.

Crowdfunding can take many forms, depending on what type of funding you’re looking for. If you’re looking for startup funds for a specific project, you could rally your followers by setting up a funding goal and hosting live fundraising events.

If you’re looking to fund a specific project, here are some crowdfunding sites to explore:

  • Kickstarter. Kickstarter is the web’s most widely used and recognized crowdfunding platform, giving your fundraising credibility. 
  • Indiegogo. If you don’t have a set funding target, you might prefer Indiegogo, which offers a more flexible fundraising goal, letting you receive funds after your deadline.
  • Fundable. Fundable lets startups offer equity in exchange for funding, making it a great tool for finding investors. Currently, though, Fundable is only available to users in the United States. 
  • Crowdcube. Crowdcube offers companies that succeed in their fundraising goals exclusive benefits from their partner organizations through its Crowdcube Funded Club. 

7. Collect “tips” from your audience

A woman shoots a make up demo using a mobile phone

For a fast and easy way to accept donations, consider using a tipping platform. Tipping platforms work just like a real-life tip jar, and viewers who like your videos can thank you with a small donation. The option is available to fans, but not mandatory, and they can donate any amount they like at any time they want.

If this sounds more appealing to you, here are some great tipping platforms to check out:

  • TikTok’s native tipping feature. This is the easiest way to collect tips in-app, with a convenient button on your profile users can tap to pay you.
  • Tipeee. Tipeee doesn’t offer subscriptions, but its strength is its simplicity. On Tipeee, creators can set up a page for their fans to directly “tip” any amount they want, whenever they want.
  • Buy Me a Coffee. Buy Me a Coffee prides itself on being built for creators, as opposed to businesses. Like Tipeee, its strength is its simplicity. Followers are sent to a page where they can purchase as many “coffees” for the creator as they like. “Coffees,” in this case, are $1 payments that are transferred to the creator via PayPal or online banking.
  • Ko-fi. Ko-fi offers tips, memberships, and ways to offer users commissions for personalized content, like a custom tutorial or video chat. 

8. Use Patreon to offer fan subscriptions 

Crowdfunding works for big projects, and tipping is the simplest way to collect funds quickly. But what if you’re looking to secure a more regular passive income stream? Try a creator-based subscription platform, like Patreon.

Subscription-based models of income work great for content creators, because you can keep individual subscription costs low and focus on growing your number of subscribers.

A low-cost subscription of, say, one dollar a month is an easy sell to a single dedicated fan. If you have a lot of dedicated fans, those dollars start to add up.

Patreon was the first large platform built to let creators and influencers generate revenue through paid memberships from their most loyal fans⁠. On Patreon, you can set up membership tiers that allow you to offer exclusive content to your biggest supporters.

Alternatives exist (most notably Ko-fi, which also includes a tipping feature), but Patreon has the added benefit of brand awareness, which adds a level of trust from prospective supporters. 

If you’re thinking a subscription service might be the best way of monetizing your TikTok account, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Entice your fans with rewards. Audiences are likely to increase their donations if they get something worthwhile. 
  • Thank your supporters directly. Make your fans feel appreciated and they’ll be more likely to keep supporting your work. 
  • Promote your Patreon page. Fans can’t donate if they don’t know you’re accepting donations. 
  • Keep subscription costs low. It’s easier to get $1 from 50 followers than to get $50 from one. 
  • Create new content consistently. Paying audiences have higher expectations when it comes to how frequently you release new content. 

Understanding TikTok users—and your audience

A phone captures a video of three people hanging out by a brick wall

On TikTok, your audience is likely to skew younger. A majority of users (62%) are under 30, and a whopping 32.5% of active users are under 20. Many people think of TikTok’s popularity with Gen Z as its defining characteristic, but this could change quickly.

One survey shows a growing number of millennials joining the platform, and social networks tend to be most popular with teens at their inception⁠—so a head start on catering to TikTok’s older users could give you a big advantage in a few years.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to TikTok, but having a solid understanding of your audience will put you in a better position to find the best ways to monetize your following. 

How to sell without annoying your audience

The tricky part of using social media to sell products is not overdoing the amount of promotional material. Your fans understand that you need funding to keep creating the content they love, but no one wants to follow an account that just feels like it’s advertising constantly.

This is especially true with TikTok, since the platform itself is so geared toward forming personal connections with your audience.

Users appreciate good content, so it might help to take a “content-first” approach. Rather than starting with your sales pitch and building content around it⁠, create the content first and let it inspire the best ways to monetize your account. Your TikTok posts should offer value to your audience—not just sell to them.

Partly Sunny Projects is an online plant brand shipping stunning California greenery across the country. Founder Sonja Detrinidad started the business as a distraction from the stress of her day job and took to TikTok to capture the process.

It didn’t take long for TikTok audiences to fall in love with Sonja’s captivating personality. Her authentic TikTok videos align with her audience’s interests.

What makes Sonja’s use of TikTok for her business so successful is that she is focused on creating content she knows her viewers enjoy. Sonja covers topics related to gardening, effectively capturing the attention of the exact type of follower that can be turned into a customer.

Join the TikTok creator economy

Creators aren’t just artists anymore. They’re artists, entrepreneurs, marketers, salespeople, accountants, founders, CEOs⁠—and everything in between. In the creator economy, stars are self-made⁠ out of their own creativity, passion, and desire to build something unique. 

Time is money for artists⁠—and making more money from your art grants you more time to create. If the money itself isn’t rewarding enough, the extra time it buys will be. TikTok is one of many platforms offering creators the ability to make money online. Do what you already do best—and get paid doing it.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

The article refers to: https://www.shopify.com/blog/make-money-on-tiktok

Boldness Is Key When It Comes to Starting a Business — Here Are 5 Ways to Boldly Launch Yours

In this article, we will discuss five key tips to launch a business with boldness. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner, or just starting out, there’s something here for everyone.

Launching a business requires a lot of hard work and dedication. However, sometimes it takes more than that to make your business successful. Boldness is key when it comes to launching a company, and being able to make pragmatic choices can set you apart from your competitors.

The first step towards launching a business is taking the bold step to start something new. As a leader, stepping out of your comfort zone is not an easy task, but it is the first essential step on the journey to success. If you are planning to launch your business, it’s essential to stand out from the mainstream and think outside the box. Boldness not only signifies courage, but it also demonstrates the determination to change the pattern.

Let’s talk about five ways to launch a business with boldness and set yourself apart from the pack.

1. Embrace creativity

One way to launch a business with boldness is to embrace creativity. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your business plans. Consider unique marketing strategies, unconventional advertising techniques or even a daring company name. Creativity can be key to setting yourself apart from your competition and gaining attention. Let the ideas flow, but know that not every idea is a good idea.

Your approach to business can set you apart from competitors, so it’s crucial to have an open mind when trying to come up with innovative business ideas. Embrace your creativity, and explore different options before embarking on a new business. You may be unique in ways that can attract a new audience or create an entirely new market. The key to success in entrepreneurship is putting in the effort, and creativity goes a long way in taking your business to the next level.

2. Take growth-mindset-driven risks

Taking calculated risks is another way to launch a business with boldness. Don’t always follow the conventional path, but examine a radical approach and research all the possible outcomes. You may find that taking a bit of a risk can be greatly rewarding in the end. This is the essence of boldness — not knowing if it will work but knowing that you did everything possible for it to be successful and to learn from the attempt, even if it fails.

Taking risks is essential when starting a business because growth rarely comes without risk. While there’s no guarantee that doing anything in business will work, taking risks and making calculated decisions is one of the most effective ways to grow. The chances of success are significantly higher when we take calculated risks and learn from our failures. For example, if you’re considering a particular strategy or partnership that could make or break your business, you need to have the courage to move forward and see what comes out of it.

3. Find your niche

One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is attempting to tackle a broad market. Finding a specific niche in your overall industry might seem limiting, but it can allow you to become an expert in that area. Your passion for that niche will draw in customers, and your unique skills will make you stand out. You do not and cannot be everything to everyone.

Your business’s market can be broader and more relaxed at first to enable you to gain some foothold; you may concentrate on a small area that’s more likely to react positively to your product or service. Once you get your foothold, you’ll gradually increase your customer base. If you want to achieve long-term success, your niche or focus market should be unique and serve a purpose.

4. Stay public and engaged

Bold companies aren’t afraid to be present and visible to the public. Using social media is an excellent way to stay publicly involved with your audience. Building and targeting a relevant audience will require engagement. Not only will it help in gaining customers, but it can create relationships and enable you to keep learning from your market. Be consistent in your posting, and be authentic to your brand.

It is vital for entrepreneurs to be public, although we may like to be private when launching a business. Entrepreneurs can stay active on social media and participate in speaking engagements, local business events and other local marketing activities to gain more awareness and enable their followers to get to know them better. Promote your business whenever you can, and the attention you garner could eventually result in organic searches.

5. Believe in yourself

Last but not least, the most important key to launching a business with boldness is to believe in yourself. Individuals who are too hesitant may not have the courage to push forward with their idea. You may face difficult times, pressure and possible rejections. You must have faith in yourself and the vision for your business. There will be noise when you are starting out — be sure to have strategies you can use to mute the negative and filter the essential learnings to strengthen your confidence and success.

When starting a business, it’s essential to remember that success takes time. There will be setbacks, roadblocks, hurdles and times when things don’t go as planned. But don’t give up. Believe that your hard work is worth it. Always remain focused on your goals, and have belief in yourself. You have to put in the work to succeed, so stay positive, be patient, and believe in your business — and the success will come.

When launching a business, taking chances and believing in yourself can help you get ahead. It’s important to embrace creativity, take risks, find your niche, stay public and believe that your business is worth all of the hard work you’re putting in. Remember that success does not come overnight, but your determined and calculated boldness will take you there!

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

The article refers to: https://www.entrepreneur.com/starting-a-business/how-to-launch-your-business-with-boldness-and-confidence/451023

What is Social Selling

Social selling uses trust built through personal connections to sell products or services. The industry has pivoted to the digital realm, and most social selling now relies on social media platforms to create that trusting, organic connection with potential customers.

Effective social sales means engaging in actual conversations with potential customers and business partners, either in person or via the web. As you build trust and establish relationships, you can eventually move the customer through the sales funnel toward lead generation and a successful deal.Click here to start selling online now with Shopify

What is social selling?

Social selling is a sales process that uses social media platforms to build relationships with potential customers, with the eventual goal of selling products or services to them. It relies on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to engage with prospects, provide them with valuable content, and establish trust and credibility. This is different compared to traditional advertising that focuses on pushing products to customers by highlighting their benefits or how they solve a problem.

Social selling builds relationships and provides value to potential customers before asking them to buy. Social sellers who invest in this relationship-building process increase their chances of converting prospects into customers and ultimately driving more sales.

Benefits of social selling

Social selling offers key benefits to sellers promoting a professional brand or their own personal brand.

It builds trust

Trust forms the basis of dealmaking and the sales process—people want to do deals with someone they trust. Communicating with your customers and building a personal relationship with them establishes a baseline of trust so they feel comfortable with you and, by extension, with buying your product or service.

For example, when selling with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you can build a community around you and your company that gives people a sense of belonging (however big or small).

It yields long-term rewards

Social selling doesn’t aim for impulse purchases. It steadily and progressively builds relationships with potential clients, and it maintains those relationships after they become paying customers.

For instance, the online audio retailer Sweetwater assigns each customer to a “sales engineer” who periodically sends emails to check in, and who always follows up a purchase with a direct note of thanks. This has led to substantial repeat business for the company.

It gives you insights into your customer base

When a company commits to social listening and robust dialogue with customers, it learns a lot about what motivates those customers. In this regard, social selling is not only a sales technique but also a market research technique. Even if a social interaction does not yield a sale, it can still provide the company with valuable information about customer wishes and interests. Companies can use this information to shape future marketing campaigns, develop new product designs, and refine product descriptions.

How to choose the right social selling platform for your brand

Social selling largely takes place via online social network platforms. And choosing the social media selling platforms for you comes down to an honest self-assessment of your brand.

Facebook and Twitter are big for salespeople, given their emphasis on discussion. Instagram and TikTok reach younger audiences, while LinkedIn is great for networking in the professional world. Reddit and YouTube comment threads often draw enthusiasts with deep knowledge of a topic, or those looking to learn.

Some of the main social selling platforms to consider include:

1 LinkedIn for business-to-business (B2B) interactions

LinkedIn is a B2B platform, where people refine their personal brands to pitch themselves as employees or business partners. It features a proprietary tool called the LinkedIn Sales Navigator that helps you target business customers. It also gives you a Social Selling Index, LinkedIn’s proprietary profiling tool. It’s a great platform for social selling to a business audience, ideal for promoting your business services, digital products for professionals, and other relevant offerings.

2 Instagram and its dedicated user base

There are many ways to sell on Instagram, as well as use the channel to connect with customers and build relationships. It’s visually driven, so you’ll need to be prepared to post photo and video content to your feed and Stories. Overall, it’s an excellent platform for social selling because it has a massive base of engaged users. In fact, more than 500 million Instagram users browse the app on a daily basis, making it home to one of the most engaged audiences around. Plus, you can open an Instagram Shop to make sales directly within the app.

3 TikTok to reach a younger audience

TikTok’s unique algorithm offers social sellers the opportunity to go viral, quickly. It’s not just videos and memes that go viral on TikTok—products go viral too, and often sell out in a matter of days. While TikTok’s own ecommerce strategy isn’t as advanced as other social media platforms, like Instagram, it’s quickly becoming more refined, including through a prominent partnership with Shopify. Companies can tap into a younger market by using TikTok to track and engage with viral trends, and leverage that to make viral content of their own.

4 Facebook to promote both discussion and sales 

Facebook is a great channel for selling products on social media. Nearly three-quarters of Facebook users browse the social media site to discover new brands and products. The company has tapped into this trend with Facebook Shops, its own native ecommerce platform, making Facebook a one-stop shop for learning about and acquiring a product.

Facebook is also known for lengthy discussions in its comment threads, including those by product enthusiasts sharing their experiences on a brand’s official Facebook page. Lengthy, substantive discussions naturally foster social engagement and are a key facet of social selling.

5 Twitter and customer service

Twitter is an influential discussion forum, especially for customer service. Many social sellers use Twitter marketing to monitor mentions, respond to customer service queries, and take extra care to take action on negative feedback.

Twitter hasn’t invested in ecommerce to the same degree as Meta (owner of Facebook and Instagram), so brands use it more for product discussions and fielding feedback. Plus, its future is uncertain after Elon Musk acquired the platform.

6 YouTube to inform and connect through video

YouTube offers many options to make money, social selling being one of them. While you can’t sell on YouTube directly, it’s an important promotional channel and outlet to connect with shoppers. Many major brands create a YouTube channel where they showcase products and provide useful content to interest their customer base. Successfully marketing on YouTube requires effective videos, authentic engagement with your audience, and general-purpose information. Over time, the sales will come organically.

8 tips for social selling success

As you embark upon your own social selling campaign, remember what distinguishes social selling from traditional advertising—it’s that trusting connection. Here are some ​​social selling best practices and tips to keep in mind:

1. Create a professional brand

If you want potential shoppers to not only trust but also respect your business, it’s time to get professional. This includes making your venture “official”—by way of business registration, incorporation, and even building out a digital presence. Research any required business licenses or relevant industry certifications.

Once you’ve got the paperwork filed, build and maintain a website that’s cohesive with the rest of your online presence and brand. And always remember to provide prompt, respectful communication to your customers.

2. Check your social selling index

LinkedIn pioneered a tool called the Social Selling Index, or SSI, which measures social selling success and relationship building based on four broad criteria. Using that tool and this guide you can check your social selling index score. Whether you use its tool or not, these guidelines can help you create a unique and successful social selling campaign. 

3. Focus on the right prospects

A key advantage of social selling is that you connect with customers who genuinely care about your product (if you’re promoting a professional brand) or your core competencies (if you’re promoting a personal brand). The most self-aware and efficient social sellers hone in on the people who seem truly engaged, and they don’t bother with uninterested people who are unlikely to turn into paying customers.

With a tool like Shopify Audiences, you can ensure you’re putting your ads in front of the right buyers. Shopify’s unique insights from commerce data help you create custom audience lists to make better targeting decisions.

4. Build trusting relationships

In case you haven’t picked up on the theme here, trust is the cornerstone to successful social selling. It’s important to engage in genuine conversations and listen to potential customers about their needs and current pain points, using those interactions to foster authentic relationships.

Aside from showing up authentically in all your interactions, you can try the following to help build and strengthen your customer relationships:

  • Set up a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to help track customers, build segments, and offer personalized communication.
  • Use cohort analytics in your Shopify dashboard to check in on customers.
  • Focus on customer retention strategies to drive repeat purchases and even word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Prioritize shoppers with a high customer lifetime value (CLV).
  • Launch a customer loyalty program to reward shoppers for their purchases.

5. Use built-in tools to target potential buyers

Many online platforms offer social selling tools that steer companies toward their presumed customer base. These tools involve lead generation and a statistical breakdown of who is visiting your pages. LinkedIn reports that social selling tools can make a big impact on company-customer connections—62% of B2B buyers responded favorably to salespeople who knew something about them, including business model, objectives, and pain points.

6. Leverage third-party tools to expand your online presence

Social selling tools are not limited to the native functions of a platform. Other companies, including Salesforce, Hootsuite, and Amplify, have tools that let businesses easily communicate with customers on a variety of platforms. These tools are particularly useful for communicating with a unified message so a recipient gets the same experience whether via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or email.

7. Listen first, sell later

Whether you’re promoting a professional brand or your own personal brand, it helps to begin your interactions with social listening. This means paying attention to online conversations to hear what people are saying about your product, noting customer pain points or things they love about your company, and building your messaging around that. You can engage in these conversations and answer people’s questions, but don’t launch into salesperson mode. The goal is to have authentic discussions, not to put on a hard sell.

There are many ways and places to listen to your customers. Here are some ideas:

  • Take note of impressionable in-person interactions, and train your associates to do the same.
  • Send customer surveys via email to solicit feedback.
  • Ask for customer testimonials and share insights with your team.
  • Collect, monitor, and track customer reviews.

8. Use analytics

Most social networks provide robust analytical insight. You can use these insights to identify the types of people who engage with your profiles, which content they like, and which posts and ads they’re clicking on. Top social sellers use these insights to inform and refine their messaging and outreach.

Get started with social selling today

Social selling is an excellent way to build relationships, promote your brand, and drive sales. However, it’s important to be strategic and professional in your approach. Engage with customers, listen to them, and make a plan to reap sufficient rewards as time passes.

6 Bad Post-Purchase Experiences SMEs Should Avoid

The 6 Bad Post-purchase Experiences in Question

1. Recommending irrelevant or inappropriate products to customers as a cross-sell or upsell strategy

2. Not allowing customers to easily manage their subscriptions

3. Not making customers aware of their loyalty status and point expiration

4. Not recognizing loyalty members at critical moments

5. Sending inappropriate messages post-customer review

6. Only sending messages related to sales and promos

As a customer, you know when you’ve had an iffy interaction with a brand. It often feels like the brand doesn’t know you, or worse, they don’t care if they don’t know you. These bad experiences feel impersonal, cringey, and frustrating. And, unfortunately, your brand might still be creating them for your customers.

As brands fight tooth and nail to stay competitive in today’s cutthroat market, they’re overlooking their knowledge gaps on customers, causing critical blindspots on their end. In fact, 1 in 3 shoppers will stop doing business with a brand they love after a single bad experience.

Brands aren’t:

  • Recognizing customer behavior
  • Sending timely, relevant messages and reminders
  • Personalizing when it matters most

How do we know? We asked customers and eCommerce experts at Ascendant Loyalty, Loop Returns, Re:amaze, and Tomorrow directly. In our recent State of Customer Loyalty & Retention Survey, customers aired their grievances on their post-purchase problems. Today’s consumer is drawing the line on irrelevance, generalized experiences, and too many impersonal messages. And churn is only the beginning of unhappy customers’ actions.

When customers have a bad post-purchase, they will stop doing business with your brand and:

  • 51% will tell their friends
  • 40% will unsubscribe from all brand communications: email, SMS, etc.
  • 34% will write negative reviews

So, what do these bad post-purchase experiences look like?

The 6 bad post-purchase experiences in question

According to customers and eCommerce experts, here are the post-purchase experiences to avoid. How does your brand stack up?

1. Recommending irrelevant or inappropriate products to customers as a cross-sell or upsell strategy

When recommending a product to customers, it has to be relevant. All too often, brands are unable to access a 360-degree view of their customers, making it difficult to offer customers recommendations that resonate. Brands are sending product recommendations that don’t feel natural, and in effect, making shoppers feel like cash cows rather than valued customers. “Personalized recommendations can make your shoppers feel seen, appreciated, and well taken care of—and can help drive your sales. Recommending the wrong product can feel like more than just a misstep, as shoppers might feel overlooked or not appreciated,” says JP Arnaud-Marquez, Manager of Content Marketing at Loop Returns.

The solution:

Ditch dissonance within the shopper experience. With the right AI engine, you can leverage real customer data like past customer reviews, general sentiment, loyalty program status, past engagements, and more to create predictive campaigns that convert.

AI-powered product recommendations can radically reshape how your customers shop and how you target them. Similar to Netflix’s “Top Picks” or Amazon’s “Based on items you viewed” category, enhanced cross-sell flows use built-in AI algorithms to recommend products shoppers are most likely to buy next. By using these highly relevant suggestions, you can effectively bring customers back to your store.

“Be sure to make cross-sell recommendations based on returns data or other reliable shopper data in addition to relying on AI predictions. By cross-checking both sets of data before recommending products to your shoppers, you’ll make a stronger impression and drive your customers to want to shop with you again,” says Arnaud-Marquez.

2. Not allowing customers to easily manage their subscriptions

Customers easily get fatigued with subscriptions purchases if they have no flexibility or control over their accounts. A subscriber should be able to manage their product choice, purchase frequency, and renewals without any hassle. Otherwise, brands are putting themselves at risk for cancellations, and ultimately, losing out on CLTV. Can you imagine how irked you’d feel if you couldn’t adjust your subscription in just a few clicks?

The solution:

Make subscription management customer-led and easily accessible. Send subscribers management notifications via text, especially when renewal periods are approaching. With their mobile device, a customer can seamlessly update their subscription preferences. In that same vein, keep subscribers happy with an easy-to-use customer portal and a passwordless login that allows them to manage their subscriptions in minutes.

3. Not making customers aware of their loyalty status and point expiration

Picture this: A customer has earned 500 points on their recent purchase with your brand, but she wasn’t told about her point balance…or her point expiration date. Without proper updates, customers can’t reap the rewards of their loyalty membership — a major reason many customers do business with a brand. When asked what would make them continue to purchase from a brand, 53.8% of global customers said a loyalty program.

Not only does the brand lose out on a repeat purchase but also loses a high-value shopper. According to Accenture research, 57% of consumers spend more on brands to which they are loyal.

The solution:

Brands need to regularly notify their loyalty members of critical updates on their account status, like point expiration and VIP tier change. The most intuitive channels for updates are SMS and email.

“The top complaint from loyalty members? You know me and you aren’t showing me that you know me. The failure of programs to not support in-depth analytics coupled with strategic insight to then inform true personalization is shocking,” says David Slavick, Co-Founder & Partner at Ascendant Loyalty.

Over 55% of consumers say they prefer SMS to other marketing channels because it’s immediate, convenient, and allows them to quickly get updates, making their phones the perfect place to contact them with time-sensitive information like an upcoming point expiration. Let your customers know how many points they have and create a sense of urgency by sharing the exact date of expiration to encourage them to act fast.

4. Not recognizing loyalty members at critical moments

Whether you’re promoting an exclusive product drop or responding to a customer complaint, your loyalty members’ VIP status deserves recognition. “Failing to recognize a customer’s loyalty status in your communications, especially when there is an issue, tells them their loyalty isn’t valued and gives them little reason to continue to be a customer,” says Aniza Valenzuela, Marketing Manager at Re:amaze.

These are your highest-value shoppers. Treat them accordingly.

The solution:

Ensure you’re communications are backed by holistic customer profiles. Disparate customer data only creates disparate customer experiences. This is especially true when sharing customer data within your customer service solution.

By connecting loyalty experiences and customer help desk solutions, you can:

  • Act on customer data quickly
  • Treat shoppers as a person rather than a segment
  • Maintain an on-brand, hyper-personalized experience throughout customers’ shopping experience

“Brands should take every opportunity to show their appreciation by offering customers special discounts, referral codes, early access to sales or new product launches, or simply acknowledging their ongoing support of your business during conversations,” says Valenzuela.

5. Sending inappropriate messages post-customer review

Additionally, brands aren’t realizing they’re sending unseemly messages to their shoppers. Gasp! If a customer just left a 1-star review and complains about a brand’s product quality, they don’t want to be sent a promotional email about that same product. How obtuse!

However, these inappropriate messages can also impact happy customers. For example, if a customer left a positive review, brands should reach out accordingly. A customer who recently left a 5-star review is a prime candidate for a loyalty program or subscriptions program invitation. Or, you can reach out and offer the customer perks in exchange for a referral.

The solution:

Data siloes are so last year. Brands must see their customers from every direction, on every channel. Your SMS marketing communication must speak to your loyalty program which then informs your customer service solution. Your tech stack has to work in harmony in order to create customer experiences that resonate.

6. Only sending messages related to sales and promos

“Constantly bombarding customers with sales and promotional messages can lead to message fatigue, decreased engagement, and reduced loyalty,” says Jennifer Karlson, Strategy Director at Tomorrow. With price sensitivity on the rise, it’s easy to only engage customers about ongoing sales. “But, “relying on sales and promotions to drive customer engagement can attract customers who are only motivated by discounts,” adds Karlson.

The solution:

Give shoppers the information they want, backed by their interests, product preferences, and holistic customer profiles. When asked how they’d like a brand to engage between purchases, customers answered as follows:

  • Sales and discount information: 57.5% of respondents
  • Reward status updates: 45% of respondents
  • New product launch information: 35% of respondents
  • Product recommendations: 33% of respondents

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

Reference:  https://www.yotpo.com/blog/bad-post-purchase-experiences-to-avoid/

The Growing Pains Of E-commerce Business In Africa

High cost of logistics is making it difficult for online platforms to survive.

E-Commerce has long been touted as Africa’s next high-growth market. Several reasons are cited for the optimism, among them:

the continent’s large, relatively young, and tech-savvy population, increasing mobile internet penetration, a fast-growing middle-class and rising disposable income.

The burgeoning industry has seen the birth of homegrown e-commerce platforms such as Jumia (Nigeria), Takealot (South Africa) and Kilimall (Kenya), and the market’s potential has not gone unnoticed by bigger international players like Amazon, Alibaba, Shein and even Facebook, all of whom are positioning themselves for a piece of the e-commerce pie.

Africa, however, is a truly unique operating environment and presents its own challenges, from logistical constraints, underdeveloped infrastructure and limited payment gateways to security, access to capital and a customer trust deficit. The playing field, which is becoming increasingly crowded and putting pressure on margins and profitability, is ripe for both consolidation and disruption.

Of the continent’s e-commerce markets, South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya are among the most advanced and offer valuable lessons to potential entrants and upstarts about how to overcome Africa’s idiosyncrasies, and what happens when you don’t.

E-Commerce in Africa

Africa’s e-commerce journey began when South African platforms – Kalahari.com and Bidorbuy.com – started out in 1998 and 1999 respectively at the height of the dotcom boom. Since those early days, e-commerce on the continent has grown exponentially. There are over 264 active e-commerce sites across 23 countries in Africa.[1] South Africa alone boasts overs 105 e-commerce platforms, while Kenya and Nigeria have 60 and 58 respectively (figure 1). 

E-commerce sites have sprung up to cater to almost every consumer need – from food delivery services to everyday groceries. Data shows that in Africa fashion, electronics, and media are the biggest online spend categories. This is followed by toys, hobbies and DIY furniture. (figure 2).

Africa’s biggest e-commerce website is Nigeria-based Jumia which attracts an average of over 32 million visitors a month, followed by South Africa’s Takealot and Egypt’s Souq[4]with 10 million unique visitors per month each.

The e-commerce penetration rate in Africa is expected to breach the half-a-billion user mark by 2025 (40%), up from just 139 million users (13%) in 2017. That represents a compounded annual growth rate of 17% (figure 4).

Notably, most of the e-commerce traffic comes from mobile devices – more than 70%. It is expected to be almost exclusively mobile by 2040.[7]The 281 million currently active online shoppers in Africa[8]are forecast to drive revenue to US$49bn in 2023 and to US$82bn in 2027[9] (figure 5).

From a growth perspective, Africa’s e-commerce story is a compelling one. But from the profitability point of view it is still a long way from maturity. Despite the double-digit revenue advance since 2017, Africa makes up less than 1% of the US$6.3trn global e-commerce economy. While the expansion of mobile telecommunication networks, uptake of smart devices, rising disposable income and large population are big drivers of online commerce growth, they don’t tell the full story. A 2017 report by Disrupt Africa found that less than 30% of Africa’s e-commerce start-ups were profitable.[11] The lack of profitability is not limited to start-ups, however. Many of the biggest e-commerce companies on the continent have not yet turned a profit after more than a decade of trading, surviving only on capital injections from venture funders or parent companies. Nigeria’s Jumia, South Africa’s Takealot and Kenya’s Kilimall, all leaders in their respective countries, offer valuable insight into the challenges of turning an e-commerce profit in Africa.

Jumia – Nigeria

Jumia, once dubbed the “Amazon of Africa”, was arguably the continent’s most celebrated start-up and the first ‘unicorn’ (a startup whose market valuation hits US$1bn). It operates across 10 African countries selling everything from electronics to homeware, fashion, and groceries. More recently, it has expanded into logistics, hotel and travel booking, food delivery and payment services.

The firm, which is headquartered in Berlin, and whose senior leadership and software developers operate from Dubai and Portugal respectively, was launched in 2012 in Nigeria as an African company with the financial backing of German venture capital firm, Rocket Internet and South African mobile telecommunications company, MTN. In 2019, Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange[12] raising US$196m.[13] But since the IPO, which saw the share soar threefold from its listing price ($US14.50), the stock has fallen more than 90% from its all-time high (of US$62 in February 2021), and now trades below US$3.[14] Rocket Internet and MTN have both since divested their holdings the company has faced a barrage of questions from members of the media and public at large. They have had to defend their claims of being an African firm and counter accusations of fraud. Jumia has never turned a profit. In 2022 it reported losing as much as US$227m.[15] To put the firm back on a path to profitability a new management was brought in. Operations in four of its 14 markets were wound up[16] and 20% (900 people) of its workforce was laid off.[17]

Operational and management issues aside, Africa is a difficult place to do business. Jumia’s 2019 annual report shows that the company’s fulfilment expenses (cost to ship and deliver orders) were US$1.6m higher than its gross profit. Manging logistics in Africa is particularly challenging. Informal spatial and suburban planning in many areas make precise delivery addresses difficult to identify. That can result in failed deliveries, order cancellations and returns, which for Jumia, are as high at 20%.  The remoteness of some delivery areas as well as underdeveloped road infrastructure have meant that the company has had to adapt its delivery methods, which include bicycles, roller-skates, and more recently, drones.[18] This creates additional layers of complexity and adds costs to what is already an expensive business model that works on thin margins.

While Jumia’s balance sheet remains relatively free of debt it has only US$228m in cash reserves left. At its current burn rate Jumia may have only a year worth of runway before having to raise debt or issue shares, neither of which is likely to be well received by investors.

Online retailers are cash hungry, requiring enormous scale before becoming profitable. South Africa’s Takealot is another example of an African e-commerce leader yet to make a profit.

Takealot – South Africa

Takealot was officially launched in 2011 after US based investment firm, Tiger Global Management[19] acquired and rebranded Take2, a South African e-commerce player founded in 2002.[20] In 2014, the company merged its operations with Naspers-owned Kalahari.com, which at the time, was a market leader in online sales of games, books, music, DVDs, cameras, and electronics in South Africa.

In the announcement of their merger, Takealot acknowledged that without scale “SA retailers [sic] simply can’t compete successfully against the local brick and mortar retailers and foreign companies such as Amazon and Alibaba.[21]” At the time, both Kalahari and Takealot were loss-making.[22] To add greater scale and logistics capabilities to the business, Naspers completed a full buyout of Takealot in 2018 grouping it with online clothing retailer, Superbalist and Food Delivery business, Mr D Food.

Despite accounting for half of South Africa’s online purchases, Takealot incurred a US$13m trading loss in the six months to June 2022 on sales of US$384m. Like Jumia, rising logistical costs and complexity are one of the reasons the company has yet to turn a corner. A weaker exchange rate, higher inflation, rising interest rates and pressure on disposable income have been a blow to both sales and operating expenses.

The group’s latest loss comes at a time when Amazon is readying to enter the South African market, and brick and mortar retailers are fighting back with their own delivery platforms. The country’s biggest retailers, Checkers (Sixy60), Woolworths (Woolies Dash), Pick ‘n Pay (PnP Express), Makro / Walmart and Mr Price among many others have all launched e-commerce platforms that leverage their existing store infrastructure across the country, allowing same-day delivery. To compete, Takealot has had to invest substantially in additional warehousing, inventory, and distribution centres, pushing out its breakeven timeframe.

Nevertheless, the runway for Takealot is decidedly longer. Despite multiple cash injections of hundreds of millions of dollars, Takealot’s parent firm, Naspers, has deep pockets and is intent on staying the course.[23]

Kilimall – Kenya

Nairobi based Kilimall has styled itself as a marketplace rather than a true e-commerce retailer. It is a relatively new entrant to Africa’s e-commerce space, having launched in 2014. It is the second biggest e-commerce platform in Kenya after Jumia and was founded by ex-Huawei employee Yang Tao who started the firm in response to his frustration at the limited range and high cost of goods in Kenya. Kilimall is for all intents and purposes is a Chinese company that was started in Kenya to offer small businesses a way to sell their products to Kenya’s growing digital shopping market. It has since grown to over 10,000 sellers from both Africa and China[24], and exports Kenyan products to Chinese buyers. The e-commerce platform also offers an online payment system, Lipapay, and logistics system KillExpress. The firm’s strong connection with the world’s biggest manufacturing hub are seen as a distinct competitive advantage. While a great deal less is known about Kilimall, its ownership structure and trading performance (purportedly as high as US$72m in sales annually[25]), the company has faced a wave of complaints about the poor customer service, quality of its products or orders not being delivered at all.

Kilimall’s expansion into Uganda and Nigeria was short-lived. Barely two years after launching in Kampala in 2016 it decided to exit. Talks with private investors to sell out the Ugandan unit collapsed, leaving rival Jumia with an 80%[26] market share in the country.[27] Ironically, months before exiting Uganda, founder and CEO announced plans to be present in all African countries by 2022.[28]Kilimall’s Nigerian domain too, has been shuttered.

The experiences of Jumia, Takealot and Kilimall highlight the challenges faced by e-commerce players in Africa, but also the industry more broadly. They also suggest that the excitement around e-commerce in Africa belies the difficult trading conditions on the continent and lack of profitability. There is a multitude of challenges to navigate just to complete a sale, let alone fulfil the order and make a profit in the process.

PAINS: Internet connectivity and the cost of data

Poor internet connectivity and the high cost of data are less of an issue than they have been in the past but are nevertheless an inhibitor to faster and broader adoption of mobile browsing and conversion to sale. While data costs have eased over the past 5 years, Africans still spend a disproportionately high amount of their average monthly income on connectivity (figure 6).

E-commerce sites in Africa (as with the rest of the world) have been optimised for mobile browsing and low data consumption but true progress will only be achieved through regulatory reform that force data costs lower and the wider roll-out of free wi-fi in public areas.

In South Africa, mobile telecommunications providers have lowered exorbitant data costs under pressure from government and the public, even “zero-rating” certain government, educational and employment websites, where browsing does not use the customers data. Instead, zero-rated sites are effectively subsidised and paid for by the zero-rated site owners.[30] Considering how few e-commerce platforms in Africa are profitable, it is difficult to see how they would be able to carry the cost of zero-rating, and whether the cost would be more than offset by sale conversions. Nevertheless, e-commerce platforms will have to become more creative in attracting and converting site visits in a data-constrained environment.

Payments and the trust deficit

Given Africa’s large unbanked population, many consumers either operate on a cash basis (often outside the formal economy) or rely on mobile money and digital wallets. At just 31.5%, Africa has the lowest proportion of adults with a bank account anywhere in the world. The continent does, however, have the highest proportion of its adult population with a mobile money account globally (22.5%) (figure 7).

Mobile money is effectively an electronic wallet service linked to a phone number and protected by various methods of authentication (password, pin, biometrics), allowing users to store, send, receive, and spend money using their mobile phone. E-commerce sites in Africa have been quick to integrate mobile payments into their platforms which has brought about the inclusion of many buyers that would otherwise have been excluded from e-commerce participation. Several e-commerce companies have gone further by allowing payment by cash on delivery. While this has this been an important strategy to broaden access to their platforms, it was also critical to addressing a trust deficit. Cash payments introduce their own challenges, however, particularly as far as security is concerned.[31] Nevertheless, e-commerce companies have had to adapt to consumer demands for cash payments, particularly in Egypt, Kenya, and Morocco (figure 8).

African consumers have proven reluctant to conduct online purchases for fear of phishing, fraud, or cybercrime vulnerabilities[32], or are simply hesitant to pay upfront for goods and services which may ultimately never be delivered or are of poor quality.[33] [34] Quality products and service are as crucial for building trust and goodwill as is ensuring a seamless returns policy.

Customer returns are a necessary evil for e-commerce retailers and average between 20% and 30%[35] globally – return reasons vary from receiving the wrong item, to wrong size or product damage. It is estimated that as much as 65% of all returns are because of mistakes by retailers.[36] They are reputationally and logistically costly and erode profits. In Africa, these costs are amplified.

Logistics costs

The success of any e-commerce site is only as good as its logistics capabilities. An underdeveloped logistics infrastructure in Africa (road, rail, port), an unreliable postal service and the high cost of transport and duties are all challenges to e-commerce profitability in Africa.

In Europe, the average distance between major cities is 1,300km while in Africa, its 4,100km.[37] Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimates that the cost of getting goods to market adds roughly 90% to production costs in Europe, and as much as 320% to manufacturing costs in Africa. The markedly higher logistics costs in Africa are not only a function of geography, but also poor road, rail, and port infrastructure. E-commerce reduces the need for producers and sellers to distribute through costly brick and mortar (offline) channels, and instead warehouse and distribute goods centrally, thereby reducing expenses.

The complexity of “last-mile” logistics in Africa, however, erode much of the cost savings gained by centralisation.[38] This has left the door open for brick-and-mortar retailers who also sell online, and whose network of stores effectively act as distribution warehouses, to gain material market share from e-commerce pure-plays.

The way forward for ecommerce in Africa

Despite the many challenges that come with operating an e-commerce platform in Africa, the continent should not be seen as an impossible place to do business. In fact, several geographies in Amazon’s non-US e-commerce business have been loss-making for many years. It was almost exclusively the North American market that drove profitability. Even so, it saw the value that Africa offered and acquired Souq[39] for US$580m (buying out Takealot owner Naspers’ shares) and later rebranded as Amazon in Egypt, knowing it would be a long journey to profitability.[40]

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of online shopping around the world, but even more so in Africa given it was still in the early phases of gaining traction. Travel and mobility restrictions meant that consumers turned in increasing numbers to online purchases and there is no going back. Covid-19 was a double-edged sword for e-commerce retailers, however, as it also ensured greater competition when brick-and-mortar retailers were forced to adapt and offer online buying and delivery. Perhaps most important to remember is that the retail pie hasn’t grown with the onset of e-commerce.[41] Instead, there are simply more competitors fighting for the pie, and growing market share fundamentally comes down to price and convenience.

Africa is littered with examples of failed e-commerce ventures, and there will be many more. There are also many platforms whose founders and shareholders made handsome profits when bought out by e-commerce giants looking to scale or enter new markets. In this regard, Africa is not unique. It is the nature of e-commerce globally. Africa is unique, however, in its potential for growth. The nascent industry is only set to accelerate from a low base. For those that dare to brave the long game in Africa and can ride out marginal (at best) profits, the continent holds the potential to deliver extraordinary returns for serious disruptors.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

Reference : https://www.ntu.edu.sg/cas/news-events/news/details/the-growing-pains-of-e-commerce-business-in-africa

Six Wholesale Strategy Tips for Retail

Wholesale is a significant source of sales revenue for many retail brands. Bulk selling products can help your business distribute your items to new regions and sell to customers it might not be able to reach otherwise.

Wholesale is also a widely used and ever-expanding sales technique. According to the US Census Bureau, wholesale inventories reached $932.9 billion in December 2022, while the global wholesale market is expected to grow to $65,613.18 billion in 2026, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1%. 

Not sure where to start with your own wholesale strategy? Learn how to give your business a boost and increase sales revenue with these wholesale strategy tips for executing and managing bulk selling customer relationships.

What is a wholesale strategy? 

If you want to sell your products to other retailers in the hopes of growing your brand faster, a wholesale strategy is a must. But what does it entail exactly?

Wholesaling products typically involves selling larger quantities of products at a lower price than you’d sell them directly to consumers via your website or brick-and-mortar store.

The wholesale buyer then sells your products to its customers via its retail store or other sales channels. 

Developing a wholesale strategy can help you build brand awareness faster than if you only sell products via your website, at events, or via one retail store location.

If your margins are too low, it will be impossible to survive. 

1. Define your target market

The first step in creating a wholesale strategy is deciding to whom you want to sell. Do you envision your products sitting on shelves at department stores, specialty retailers, discount stores, or online shops? What kind of wholesale vendor makes sense both for your business and your own target customers?

Look at the type of items each store carries and make sure your products fit their mix. If you sell denim, you don’t want to spend time prospecting potential wholesale clients that only sell swimsuits.

2. Set your sales goals and budget

Creating quarterly sales projections can help you stay focused and work toward your goals. It can also help you understand what you can afford in terms of operating expenses—the saying that it takes money to make money is accurate when it comes to growing your brand and increasing sales revenue.

How many units are you hoping to sell each quarter? What is your forecasted quarterly sales revenue, and what will you have to spend to reach those goals? A few things you might consider budgeting for include:

  • An independent sales representative (or multiple representatives who cover different regions)
  • A showroom that works with various retailers in your target market
  • Trade shows focused on building relationships with your target market
  • An in-house sales representative to help drive your wholesale marketing efforts

Be sure to crunch the numbers and understand how much revenue you need to bring in to cover your operating expenses and still make a profit.

3. Manage your customer relationships

Existing and prospective customer relationships can be tracked with a spreadsheet or a third-party customer-relationship manager (CRM) like SalesForce or Insightly.

A spreadsheet can include the following columns:

  • Store Name
  • Buyer Name
  • Email Address
  • Website
  • Phone Number
  • Address
  • Status (the last time you followed up and next steps to be taken)
  • Notes

4. Create a website

Even if you don’t plan to sell your products directly to consumers, creating a simple website with your branding, logo, and product photos and descriptions will make it easier for potential wholesale buyers to get familiar with your brand. And if you also sell DTC, use Shopify to manage all your sales channels—online, in-store, and wholesale—from one place. With the Shopify Plus plan you can set up a wholesale channel where buyers can submit their orders for you to review, or they can pay for their products at the checkout within your wholesale store.

Having a website also makes it easier for potential wholesale buyers to find your brand through Google search, making it a great tool to help you grow your wholesale business. 

5. Find buyers and connect with them

There will likely be a countless number of potential buyers for your product, so start with a list of your top 10. From there, working in increments of 10 or 20 at a time will make the task less daunting.

As you work through the first 10, you’ll learn more about what approaches get you the positive response you want and which ones don’t.

Follow these steps to find and approach potential wholesale buyers: 

Step 1: Who do you want to connect with?

You may already have a list of stores you want to sell to, but there are a few easy ways to expand that list:

  • Create Google Alerts that notify you of stores or boutiques that carry products similar to yours. For example, if you want to find boutiques in New York City that carry eco-friendly activewear, you can search “Eco-friendly Activewear Boutique New York City.”
  • Check your competitors’ websites for lists of the retailers they work with (also known as a “stockists” page) and use those names as leads (see Step 2 below for a how-to).
  • Walk or drive around your neighborhood and surrounding area looking for stores that might carry your product. Hand out business cards and request contact information for the store’s buyer so you have a name to follow up with.

Step 2: Survey your network for connections

Before you start reaching out to buyers, see if you know someone who knows or has a connection with anyone on your list. You can start by searching the buyer’s name on LinkedIn and looking for common connections.

You also can send prospective buyers a direct message or email letting them know you’d like to connect and share more about your brand. Some retailer websites will list contact information, but you may have to settle for a general mailbox if the buyer’s address isn’t listed publicly. Be sure your subject line includes “ATTN: Buyer,” the store name, and your brand name to make conversations easier to track.

Another option for prospecting smaller retail stores is to interact with their social media channels like Instagram and Facebook. In many cases, small boutique owners manage their own social media. Spend a few days or weeks engaging with their content, and send them a direct message introducing yourself—this might help you make a warm introduction versus a cold email that comes out of the blue.

When you’re ready to send emails out to buyers, you can start with a template similar to this one:

Hello [buyer name],

My name is [insert your name]. I’m the founder of [link your brand name]. I found your shop on Instagram [link your Instagram]. Thank you for getting back to me and providing me with your email address.

I’ve been following you for a while and love your product assortment. I’m hoping to connect with you to share more about my brand—I think your customers might like it.

[Include a quick brand bio—three sentences at the most—and tell the buyer why your brand is different.]

I have attached our line sheets for your review and would be happy to tell you more about [your brand name] over the phone. Do you have availability this week or next?

I’d also be happy to send you a few samples of our bestselling styles for review if you’re interested.

Please feel free to call me at [your phone number] if you have any questions.

All my best,

[your name]

Step 3: Be persistent

The most powerful tool in your wholesale strategy is persistence: You’re going to get many rejections before, during, and even after you get a yes. Self-promotion can be difficult, but if you stick with it and continue to follow-up with buyers, you should eventually start to see your hard work pay off.

If a buyer isn’t interested immediately, it doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in the future.

If they say no but you truly believe your product would make a great addition to their store, you can respond with the following email:

Hello [buyer name],

Thank you so much for getting back to me to let me know you’re not taking on new brands at this time. If it’s OK with you, I’d love to keep in touch and share my new product launches with you as they occur.

If anything should change on your side, please feel free to email or call me at [your phone number].

All my best,

[your name]

Include the phrase “Follow Up” in your subject line—it alerts the receiver that you’ve attempted to connect before, and should result in more responses.

6. Get on the road

Once you’ve connected with retailers, see if you can make appointments with a number of buyers in the same region to show them your products in person. Pack up your samples and schedule time to meet with each retailer you’d like to build a relationship with—this is sometimes referred to as “road sales.”

Attending trade shows is another good way to meet buyers on the road. Be sure to make connections with buyers before a show, and to follow up after.

If you’d like to cover an area broader than your immediate region, you can look into hiring outside sales representatives.

Moving forward with your wholesale strategy

An important takeaway for any customer acquisition strategy is to build relationships. If people feel a connection to you and your story, they will feel a connection to your brand, and they’ll want to support it. Using the wholesale strategy tips listed above will help you stay organized so you can focus on nurturing customer relationships and achieving your goals.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

Reference : https://www.shopify.com/ph/retail/wholesale-strategy-for-retail

How To Sell on Instagram: The Essential Guide To Success (2023)

Instagram Shopping is now the preferred way for consumers to learn about new brands and products on the platform, as well as purchase them in just a few simple steps. If merchants don’t want to be left behind they need to board the train of selling on Instagram.

Ninety percent of Instagram users follow a business account, making Instagram Shopping an effective way for merchants to tag products in their posts, open an online storefront, and simplify the entire buyer journey, from discovery to checkout.

1. Set up Instagram Shopping with your online store

Selling on Instagram with an ecommerce platform like Shopify or some else is simple. When you connect your online store to the Facebook sales channel, your online store products automatically sync to Instagram so you can create ads and Shoppable Posts easily.

Before you start selling on Instagram, you’ll need to make sure you’ve set up a Facebook business page and have products in your Facebook catalog.

2. Set up Instagram Shopping natively

First things first. To be able to sell your products on Instagram, make sure:

  • Your personal account is converted to an Instagram business account
  • Your business sells physical goods that comply with Instagram’s commerce policies
  • Your Instagram business profile is associated with a Facebook catalog in Business Manager (See Instagram’s step-by-step guide on creating your Facebook catalog with your Instagram business profile.)

Once you’ve taken care of the step-by-step details above, you’re ready to start selling your physical products on Instagram.

Open up your Instagram app and head to your profile. Tap to open the menu in the upper right corner and tap Settings. Select Business, then tap the Set Up Instagram Shopping link. 

setting up IG shop through instagram app

You can also create your shop through Meta Business Manager. 

3. Set up a product catalog

To sell products through Instagram, you’ll need to connect your Instagram account to a catalog. Start by logging in to your Meta Commerce Manager. Commerce Manager is a feature within Facebook Business Manager that lets you set up a Facebook Shop. 

Once in Commerce Manager, click + Add catalog.

add catalog

Then choose the catalog type you’ll create. If you’re an online retailer, you’ll want to create an ecommerce catalog. 

ECommerce catalog

Then you’ll need to upload your inventory. If you’re selling a small amount of products, you can manually upload product information to your catalog. Or, you can connect a Partner Platform like Shopify to automatically import your items. 

If you choose to upload products manually, here’s the product info you’ll need to include:

  • 500 x 500 pixel image(s)
  • Product description 
  • A link to your product landing page
  • Price
  • A SKU number

9 tips for selling your products on Instagram

Before we dive into specific examples of how top brands use Instagram Shopping, let’s quickly outline the main tools you can use together to drive organic sales from Instagram:

Shoppable Posts. In a nutshell, Shoppable Posts lets you add product tags to your content so people can buy directly from them. Product tags on Instagram are similar to tagging other users in your posts, except you’re tagging your products. This allows shoppers to click on your tags and quickly shop your catalog of products.

Product stickers in Instagram Stories. With product stickers, ecommerce brands can tag specific products in Stories, just like you can with standard product tags in posts.

The Shop tab on your profile. The Shop tab is where your profile visitors can find all the products you’ve tagged in your Instagram posts, including the content that features them.

Collections. Product collections allow you to customize your shop with an editorial point of view by curating products into themes to help tell your brand story.

Instagram checkout. When you enable Instagram checkout, people can buy directly from Live Shopping, product launches, and Shopping for Creators. If you’re a Shopify merchant, you can use the Facebook channel integration to set up checkout on Instagram and Facebook. Shop Pay will automatically show for the customer, providing a faster and easier way for them to check out. 

1. Use product tags

The path from discovery to purchase is not linear on Instagram. As your customers are discovering your products via Instagram, product tags give your customers the ability to make a purchase directly within the app or learn more about the product via your website at the moment of discovery.

product tags on IG

Shopping tags let businesses tag their products across Instagram so people can easily shop wherever they find joy in the app. You can tag feed posts, Stories, and Reels. If you’re a business with checkout-enabled shopping, you can also tag Live feeds. 

If your goal is to get your product in front of more customers, tagged products have the opportunity to be highlighted on Instagram’s Explore and Shop tab.

When someone tags a product in their post, business owners will receive a notification. You can view all tagged content on your profile and control who tags products by managing product tag preferences in your settings. 

instagram tagging by users

Instagram says 1.6 million people tag at least one brand each week on the social media platform. Using product tags can help expand product awareness and drive potential customers to your products. 

2. Run Instagram ads

Instagram is now a place where people go to shop. Instagram’s research shows that 84% of people want to discover new products on the platform. With mobile sales projected to reach $552.28 billion by the end of 2024 in the US, Instagram launched shoppable ads to capitalize on mobile commerce. 

IG mobile ads

Shoppable Instagram ads are your standard Instagram ad but with product tags. When someone is interested in your promoted product, they can go directly to a product detail page to learn more. If you’re a US business, you can run ads with Instagram checkout too, so people can purchase directly in-app. 

These ads run in feed or Explore using single image, carousel, or video formats from your product catalog. They work just like regular Instagram ads: you build them in Ads Manager and can show to a custom audience or lookalike audience to find new potential customers.

3. Partner with influencers

It’s safe to say that influencer marketing can help you sell on Instagram. Instagram influencers are people who’ve built a reputation—and a $16.4 billion industry—around a certain niche on the platform. They work as brand ambassadors for your small business, sharing your products with their target audience in exchange for money, free products, or exposure. 


Influencers can impact buying habits because of their authority in a particular industry. In the example above, @lizarch, a yoga influencer with 57,000 followers, promotes a giveaway for Savhera. The essential oil brand partnered with Liz because her audience trusts her suggestions and what she promotes.

The school of thought is that influencers are wildly expensive, as though every brand is paying Kim Kardashian $1 million to promote their products. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Nano-influencers and micro-influencers tend to get higher engagement rates. My best influencers have been people that are genuinely interested in the product and eager to share it with their followers. Rhiannon Taylor, Founder of RT1home

With the rise of nano-influencers (accounts with less than 5,000 followers) and micro-influencers (between 5,000 and 20,000 followers), smaller brands can now work with influencers at a reasonable price and make more sales on Instagram. 

Instagram is also making it easier for people to shop inspiring looks from influencers and creators that they love without needing to leave Instagram.Taylor Loren, in an edited excerpt from the course How to Make Money on Instagram

4. Use live shopping streaming

When you have an Instagram Shop and product catalog set up, you can start an Instagram Live Shopping stream. Live Shopping lets brands and creators sell products over a live broadcast. Think of it like a TV shopping network, but with more interaction and on your phone. Live Shopping lets you showcase products, interact with fans, and partner with other brands and creators.

As the seller, you can tag a product from your catalog to appear at the bottom on the screen during a live broadcast. Buyers just need to click the Add to Bag button, then check out. 

Instagram Live

The only caveat? To use Instagram Live Shopping, you must be a US business with access to Instagram checkout. 

5. Publish Reels

Reels let your business create and publish videos up to 60 seconds long. It’s easy to get creative with easy-to-use text, AR filters, and audio to tell your brand’s story. Reels can also appear on the Explore page where anyone on Instagram can see them.

The coolest part? You can tag products in your Reels, so that when someone views your Reels they can easily access the products or collections mentioned in it. 

selling products through Instagram Reels

6. Curate user-generated content

If people are buying and enjoying your product, chances are they’re posting about it on social media. User-generated content is a great way to fill your Instagram feed with quality content while still taking advantage of the various Instagram Shopping features.

One of my favorite examples of user-generated content done right is from Inkbox Tattoos. With more than one and a half million Instagram followers, it’s the poster child for how effective UGC can be for brands. This is even more so with the introduction of Instagram’s Shop tab on the home screen.

inbox tattoos

Now, with the addition of the Shop tab to Explore, Instagram’s algorithm selects items it believes users will be interested in. Here’s what it looks like:

shop tab

DTC brand Vuori also began testing Instagram Shopping in 2020. Nikki Sakelliou, the company’s VP of brand, reported being hesitant at first about tagging posts in their feed. The brand publishes a lot of user-generated content to showcase its products on real people and keep its feed authentic. Roughly half of Vuori’s posts are now shoppable and highlight one product at a time. 

Many brands have come to see social media marketing as the gateway that lets them connect authentically with audience members one on one. With user-generated content, brands give users the opportunity to tell real and oftentimes relatable stories—something that is hard to achieve with traditional brand-generated content.

7. Use the right hashtags

Instagram hashtags are a way to build brand awareness and connect your content to a specific topic or conversation. Hashtags make your shoppable content discoverable on Instagram and help it reach more people. When you publish a shoppable post with a hashtag, it shows up in the feed with a shopping bag icon. This tells browsers that an item in your post is available to buy.


If you already have a good idea of hashtags that work well for your brand, consider using them on your Shoppable Posts. You can go broad with a hashtag like #style or #fashion, or be a little more specific (i.e., #earringsaddict) and connect with a more targeted audience.

8. Use video to showcase your product

Did you know that after watching a video, 64% of social media users are more likely to purchase a product online? Needless to say, video should be an integral part of your Instagram marketing strategy.

Letterfolk, for example, does a great job of using video in its Stories. From product demonstrations to live Q&A, the Letterfolk team knows exactly how to take advantage of this compelling format.

letterfolk ig videos

The best video content tells stories that connect on a deep level with the viewer. The better you tell stories about your brand or product, the more likely your viewers are going to understand what your company is offering and what it can do for them. And, in turn, the more likely they’ll be to buy.

Best of all, you can add product stickers to your video Stories to drive sales and can even feature them permanently in your Highlights to surface them to new profile visitors.

Best practices for video content include:

  • Short duration. If you’re creating a video ad, make it between six and 10 seconds.
  • Design for Sound Off, in case someone is listening without sound.
  • Frame your story. Use vertical (4:5, 2:3, and 9:16) and square videos to format for mobile.

9. Automate customer support through DMs

With over one billion users and counting, it’s no surprise that Instagram can help you reach new customers. Instagram Shopping features give creators and retailers the ability to manage an entire sales funnel right inside the app.

The rise of sales interactions through the platform means more customer support requests coming through your DMs. The influx of messages can be overwhelming for any account owner or support team. Fortunately, there are automation tools like ManyChat that can help you provide quick responses to customers and sell more online. 

manychat for instagram

For example, you can automate responses to common questions using features like Keywords or Quick Replies in ManyChat’s flow builder. This helps:

  • Solve customer issues quickly 
  • Assign messages to different support team members
  • See past conversations with customers and take corrective action
  • Automate replies 
  • Convert more shoppers from Instagram Shops

How are you using Instagram to sell products?

Instagram Shopping is just the beginning for entrepreneurs looking to boost sales on the Instagram app. There are many more platforms and strategies for you to sell products on social media. As more consumers get used to this exciting new shopping frontier, it’s up to your brand to deliver your products where new customers are spending a majority of their time: social media.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

Source: https://www.shopify.com/blog/how-to-sell-on-instagram

10 Best Business Podcasts To Listen to in 2023

Ask anyone at the top of their field how they found success in business, and chances are you’ll find overlapping patterns of hard work, long hours, and—perhaps most important—continual self-education.

Experience, books, blog posts, and videos usually make up the curriculum of the self-taught entrepreneur, but podcasts offer their own distinct value: they let you listen, learn, and grow while you’re getting ready in the morning, going for a jog, driving around, or even working on your business.

But, with more than three million podcasts available, how do you choose where to start?

To help you out, we’ve rounded up 20 of the best business podcasts for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Whether you’re looking for practical marketing advice or a motivational push, these top business podcasts (all available on Apple Podcasts and other top podcast platforms) are worth a listen.

10 best business podcasts for 2023

1. Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing podcast logo. Blue background with white text and an image of a microphone.
The Duct Tape Marketing podcast is for small business owners.

Hosted by: John Jantsch

Made for: Small business owners looking to learn more about online marketing on a budget.

John Jantsch has been running this weekly podcast for more than a decade, interviewing experts, authors, successful entrepreneurs, and thought leaders about business hacks, the ins and outs of online marketing, and more.

There’s valuable content here on subjects in all areas of digital marketing. The podcast dives into the technical, like getting more results from Google Ads, as well as the more abstract, like building a memorable personal brand, or the role of authenticity in marketing.

You’ll not only get business advice about how to differentiate yourself from the competition and make your venture truly unique, but also content covering everything from new trends in marketing (like voice search) to increasing productivity.

2. HBR IdeaCast

The logo for the Ideacast podcast. Bright red background with white text and a circle made up of white dots.
Ideacast is a podcast from Harvard Business Review.

Hosted by: Sarah Green Carmichael

Made for: Entrepreneurs who are scaling and running into growing pains, especially when it comes to building a team.

IdeaCast is the brainchild of the Harvard Business Review and features weekly discussions about business management, often through interviews with industry experts and business leaders.

It has actionable advice on everything from networking to business management. In particular, this is one of the best business podcasts for those managing a team of employees and contractors.

If you’re planning on growing your team to scale your business (or if you’ve already done so), these episodes are a must-listen. Host Sarah Green Carmichael frames advice around real-life case studies of small business owners everyone can earn from.

3. The $100 MBA Show

The logo for the $100 MBA Show podcast. Red background with black and white text and a photo of host, Omar Zenhom.
The $100 MBA Show is all about running a business.

Hosted by: Omar Zenhom

Made for: Entrepreneurs interested in the process of running their own business, not just growing one.

The $100 MBA Show attracts 50,000 listeners daily by offering advice on how to run a business using predictable patterns to your advantage. Host Omar Zenhom is always upbeat and energetic, and his passion for efficient processes translates into valuable information successful entrepreneurs can use to build a better marketing flywheel or improve business operations.

In addition to growth, this podcast also offers advice tailored specifically to those who want to avoid or resolve common problems that are likely to pop up along their business journey. If owners are feeling stumped, they can also submit questions for possible inclusion in an upcoming podcast.

4. The Copywriter Club

The logo for The Copywriter Club podcast. Blue background with white text and a big white letter C in the middle.
The Copywriter Club discusses high-converting copy.

Hosted by: Kira Hug and Rob Marsh

Made for: Business owners who write their own copy or who want to learn about the craft of high-converting writing.

Every week, catch an in-depth interview with experts on how to write compelling copy that feeds a content marketing strategy and converts for top brands.

Great copywriting bolsters nearly every marketing activity: from your product descriptions, site copy, email marketing, PPC campaigns, and more. Marketing still lives and dies on the words you use to communicate.

This podcast can help you create copy, hone your online marketing skills, and build a content marketing machine that converts, including product descriptions and marketing campaigns.

5. Mixergy

The logo for the Mixergy podcast. Yellow background with bold, white font and a picture of host Andrew Warner holding his fist out.
Mixergy focuses on sharing startup stories.

Hosted by: Andrew Warner

Made for: Entrepreneurs and business owners keen to hear how other startups were born and how they grew.

Airing several times a week, Mixergy features interviews with startup founders, serial entrepreneurs, and people at the top of their fields.

With episodes on reinvented classic experiences like wedding dress shopping or parking tech for autonomous vehicles, Mixergy is one of the best business podcasts for entrepreneurs looking for business inspiration in unlikely places.

Mixergy also covers case studies on successful businesses, and provides valuable information on different ways to run a business.

6. The Jason and Scot Show

The logo for the Jason and Scot Show. Purple background with yellow text and cartoon images of the hosts, Jason Goldberg and Scot Wingo.
The Jason and Scot Show keeps merchants up to date on the latest trends.

Hosted by: Jason Goldberg and Scot Wingo

Made for: Entrepreneurs interested in and selling in the ever-changing world of commerce and retail.

Jason (also known as the Retail Geek) and Scot share some of the high-level debates and conversations they have about the future of retail and commerce.

The interview-style episodes include insights from industry veterans, but it’s Jason and Scot’s deep dives that are worth listening to for the latest business news and trends in retail. Whether it’s Amazon’s latest experiment, or the move toward VR/AR, listening to these two friends talk is always a good time.

7. eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

The logo for the eCommerce MasterPlan podcast. White background with colorful text enclosed in a blue circle with a pink image of a microphone.
eCommerce MasterPlan focuses on customer relationships.

Hosted by: Chloe Thomas

Made for: All ecommerce business owners, especially those who want to develop plans for customer retention or relationship building.

For 30 minutes a week, the eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast gives you actionable insights on how to get more customers and make more meaningful relationships with them.

The show’s strength is its deep dives into everything customer-centric: acquisition, retention, and loyalty building. Beyond its customer-centric point of view, it also features information on the latest online business tech and offers tips on maximizing profit and saving money.

8. Social Media Marketing Talk Show

The logo for the Social Media Marketing Talk Show. Blue background with illustrated leaves and a woman speaking into a megaphone. The text is in red, blue, and yellow.
Social Media Marketing Talk Show is presented by the Social Media Examiner.

Hosted by: Eric Fisher

Made for: Small businesses doing their own social media marketing.

Ever feel like you get whiplash from social media channels’ new features? The Social Media Marketing Talk Show keeps you up to date while explaining what changes will mean for you.

Eric Fisher, a member of the Social Media Examiner team, hosts the podcast and regularly features experts like Andrea Vahl and Madalyn Sklar. Their conversation makes the changes happening in social media feel more accessible, so you’ll know exactly how to respond with your social accounts.

9. eCommerce Fuel

The logo for the eCommerce Fuel podcast. Dark brown background with orange and white text and an illustration of a shopping cart that looks like a rocket.
The eCommerce Fuel podcast is aimed at high-earning entrepreneurs.

Hosted by: Andrew Youderian

Made for: Six- and seven-figure ecommerce store owners looking to scale.

Andrew Youderian has built several million-dollar ecommerce ventures, so he’s an excellent go-to guy to talk to about everything happening in ecommerce.

This podcast features discussions about managing online businesses, with an emphasis on how to get to six or seven figures—and then grow some more. If you want to think big and take home a good chunk of change too, this should be at the top of your listening list.

10. Goal Digger Podcast

The logo for the Goal Digger podcast. Orange and yellow background with big white text and an image of host Jenna Kutcher laughing.
Goal Digger is a popular podcast by entrepreneur Jenna Kutcher.

Hosted by: Jenna Kutcher

Made for: Female entrepreneurs who rock their businesses and their personal lives.

Instead of a traditional talk-and-interview format, this several-times-a-week podcast takes on the feel of a live workshop. Jenna Kutcher knows her stuff. The podcast provides specific strategies entrepreneurs can use to market their businesses.

In addition to giving marketing advice in areas of expertise like SEO and Instagram marketing, Kutcher goes deep on subjects other podcasts might stay away from, like work-life balance as a CEO and a mom, and how to make your brand more inclusive.

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://bit.ly/3Cfdu4w

Source: https://www.shopify.com/blog/business-podcasts