Two creative millenial small business owners working on social media

17 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

By Rieva Lesonsky


1—Scaring Up Halloween Sales

Were your Halloween sales scary this year? While it may not be too late (so many people wait until the last minute to get prepared for the holiday), there’s a lot of information in the infographic below from The Shelf, that you can use to make sure next Halloween is a treat for your small business.

Courtesy of: The Shelf


2—Do You Need to Bring Your Marketing Back From the Dead?

Halloween is a good time to let go of your fears. Check out the infographic below from Campaigner and learn how to bring your marketing back to life.

Email Marketing Strategies
Email Marketing Strategies


3—Are You Holding Phantom Meetings?

Nothing kills productivity more than an onslaught of inefficient meetings. In honor of Halloween, the experts at Teem (formerly EventBoard) want to share some insight and tips on how to exorcise “Zombie” and “Ghost” meetings—scheduled meetings that nobody attends, but that account for 34% of scheduled meetings globally and waste an average of 27 hours per room, per month.

teem-global_zombie_meetings-infographic-1-2-002First, you need to understand what kind of phantom meeting you’re dealing with:

  • Ghost Meetings—A standalone occurrence. These happen when a combination of circumstances keep people from attending a one-off meeting and make up 80% of no-show meetings.
  • Zombie meetings—These are recurring meetings on the calendar with a conference room or meeting space booked, but no one attends them or bothers to cancel them.

Want to slay these time-sucking, space-eating, efficiency-damning entities? Here’s how:

Death to the Boardroom: If your office is crunched for space, recommend “killing” the boardroom and replacing it with smaller spaces, referred to as huddle rooms or “war” rooms. Having a number of private meeting areas enables ad hoc collaboration and eliminates some of the tension caused by an overbooked boardroom.

The Witching Hour (for meetings): Understanding key factors such as when, where and for how long meetings help workers reclaim meeting efficiency. By using analytic tools or even a simple survey of employees asking them to reveal their meeting rush hours could help. Once armed with this knowledge, planning becomes much easier as you can work around the rush hours or work find out how you can kill some of that excessive meeting time.

Vanquishing the Zombie Meeting: A grotesque number of meetings are “zombie” or “ghost” meetings, but digital conference displays can help rid companies of these phantom meetings. When attendees arrive at a meeting they must check in on the display, if no one checks in within a certain time the meeting room reservation is automatically canceled. This frees up the room so that others can utilize the space.



4—Chances are Your Small Business is Having a Communications Crisis

The state of your company’s communications has a significant impact on your bottom line, according to new research from Nextiva. This also affects your ability to meet your goals and retain talent. The 2016 Business Communications Survey reveals that 63% of business professionals surveyed experience communications-related issues with their customers, colleagues or team that stops them from achieving business goals on at least a weekly basis. What’s worse is 25% say communication issues have led to lost customers, and 13% have lost coworkers over those issues.

Plus, 53% of employees would consider leaving their jobs for one or more of the following reasons: negative communication exchanges with colleagues or customers; being contacted after work hours by colleagues or customers; frequently missed deadlines due to communication overload; or missing information sent from customers on a regular basis.

“Business communication today is in a state of crisis, one that hurts employee productivity and causes unnecessary customer churn,” says Tomas Gorny, the CEO of Nextiva. “Employees are overwhelmed from using too many communications apps that reduce the efficiency these tools are meant to create. Additionally, business leaders are faced with too many options that only adds to the communication overload in their workplace.”

Consequences of Communication Overload

  • 38% use five or more workplace and customer communication tools at their businesses
  • 27% admit their worst work communications issue is missing information due to multitasking with the multiple tools
  • 28% miss important information via email at least weekly

Platform Preferences–& Repudiations

What communications apps do employees prefer?

  • Email takes the top spot—it is such a popular platform 58% of employees admit they can’t do without it
  • Face-to-face communication ranked as the second most comfortable method—which should put to rest the belief that people today shy away from in-person communication at work—followed (in order) by phone, text and instant message.
  • Employees are least comfortable with video conferencing by a landslide—8% are not at all comfortable with video.
  • When judging effectiveness, however, face-to-face (53%) outranks email.
  • Collaboration tools, like Slack, are considered least effective—17% saythey are not at all

“Today’s workers have specific needs for both internal and external communications, and it’s clear from these results that some are working better for them than others,” says Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva’s CMO. “Solutions must be versatile enough to cater to many types of workers, while sophisticated enough to deliver superior functionality.”

Business Blunders

The survey also examined today’s business communication taboos and how workplace stress inducers stack up.

  • Top Shockers: (what workers would be most surprised to find)
  • Drunk emails (26%)
  • Private emails forwarded to wrong recipients (25%)
  • Swearing in emails (20%)

Millennials are most likely to be okay with swearing in emails, with only 13% of this subgroup being most shocked by this, versus 31% of everyone else.

You can learn more from Nextiva at its NextCon16 Conference, November 14-16 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The lineup of speakers is amazing—you’ll hear from Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak and its former chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki. I’ll be there too. Register here.


5—How to Win the Holiday Season

If you want to better connect with consumers in today’s noisy digital landscape and “win” the holiday shopping season, shopping analytics company Bazaarvoice has some new data that offers some insights.

  • In 2015, online sales on the first two days of the holiday season, Thanksgiving and Black Friday, totaled a whopping $4.45 billion
  • Online shopping is more prominent during the holidays than any other time of the year. In fact, 46% of consumers will be do their holiday shopping online this year
  • Mobile purchases make up 33% of all online holiday sales
  • There is no longer a distinction between online and offline shopping. Today, 75% of store shoppers use their mobile devices while shopping in stores
    • 25% of store shoppers use their mobile devices to make mobile purchases in-aisle
  • Consumer electronics and apparel page traffic starts to peak around November 8thand remains high until January 3rd
  • Toys, games, health, and beauty traffic spikes earlier, starting as early as November 1stand trailing off in mid-December
  • Consumers don’t shop for all the items on their gift list at the same time

Strategies for brands and retailers to “win” during holiday season:

  • Plan holiday campaigns leveraging the very best data resources possible to inform messaging and targeting
  • Cut through the noise on Black Friday to reach consumers with relevant, authentic messages that resonate


6— Keep Holiday Shoppers Engaged or Risk Losing Them to Amazon

Euclid Analytics, a leader in retail analytics and omnichannel engagement, revealed the results of its Evolution of Retail, 2016 Holiday Consumer Mobile Usage survey report which highlights consumer shopping preferences and holiday season behavior in retail stores. The survey found retailers must employ digital strategies to engage shoppers or risk losing them to Amazon, particularly during the noisy, promotion-heavy holiday season.

Deloitte predicts sales will grow this holiday season between 3.6 and 4%. With mobile and social media adoption rising, the line is blurred for consumers who are looking to make holiday purchases. They could be shopping at a physical store, while at the same time comparing prices and looking for coupons via Facebook on their smartphones. Physical retailers are now compelled to find new, innovative ways to enhance the customer experiences within their physical stores.

Brick and mortar retailers are re-evaluating their business models and finding new ways to bridge the gap between an online and offline world. The study reveals what retailers should know about their shoppers leading up to the holidays and how to use that information to make their stores relevant and engaging this holiday season amongst a sea of Amazon-like competitors.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 83% of consumers say their smart devices are central to their shopping experience
  • 67% shop in-store because they like to see, hold and try on products before buying
  • 37% rely on Facebook to find cool new products, 2nd to word-of-mouth (47%)

Facebook, Google and Amazon are respectively the top three smartphone applications consumers are using while shopping.


7—Are You Promoting Small Business Saturday?

As I’ve mentioned Small Business Saturday is November 26 and to help you prepare SalesFuel has released a free white paper, “Small Business Saturday Shoppers 2016: Helping Small Businesses Compete with Big-Box and Online Giants” that, using data from its 2016 AudienceSCAN® survey, offer small businesses good advice for taking full advantage of Small Business Saturday.

The new data shows small businesses are missing opportunities to not only participate in this holiday-shopping day, but also formulate bullseye strategies to promote their participation.

Key points in the paper include:

  • Offer high service levels. Customers need a refresher on why they love to walk into a local store and be greeted warmly by their neighbor. Consumers need to remember they rely on in-person conversations with industry and retail experts for gift ideas and product advice. Small Business Saturday shoppers know your value. It’s a small businesses’ job to get back in front of customers by knowing their
  • Hot item categories this year include antique dealers, audio shops and spas/salons.
  • Small businesses offering consumer servicesmost definitely should take a more active role in Small Business Saturday, and the Shop Small movement in general.
  • Advertise NOW so customers can plan and not spend all their budgets on Black Friday.
  • Digital/Online buying strategies are key. A solid 24.9% of your SBS shoppers are aged 25 to 34. You just need to spend more time and effort marketing to them online, and reaching them on their smartphones! AudienceSCAN research revealed they are 57% more likely than average shoppers to take action from an ad on a social network.


8—Hottest Shopping Trends of Black Friday 2016

The deal hunters at GottaDeal.com have released its 2016 Black Friday Predictions, which provide insight into retail trends and price predictions to help consumers save money (after all, entrepreneurs are shoppers too) and some business owners see what’s expected in their industries.

One trend GottaDeal expects to continue is the extension of Black Friday from one day into a prolonged period of promotions spanning weeks. While the three-day period from Wednesday through Friday of Black Friday week should see the most deals, especially online, the period from early November through mid-December will see an explosion in the number of sales offered.

Here are a few key excerpts from this year’s predictions:


  • Doorbuster deals on 42” HDTVs should be as low as $149.
  • Larger models (55” and 60”) with smart features could see prices as low as $279.
  • 4K Ultra HD models have become mainstream & the deals should reflect that.


  • Discounts on both sizes on the iPad Pro will be offered by many retailers this year.
  • com will have great deals on their new lineup of Fire tablets.


  • Bargain 15.6” laptops could show up in Black Friday ads for as low as $99.
  • Look for upgraded models with better features and more longevity for $249.

Video Games & Toys

  • Holiday bundles for video game systems will continue to be popular this year.
  • With no truly new systems this year, prices for existing consoles will plummet.
  • A great lineup of new game titles will lead to good deals for gamers.


9—What SMBs Need to Know—Beneath the Monthly Jobs Numbers

Guest post by Pete Lamson, CEO of Jazz

While job growth over the past quarter is an encouraging sign for the overall health of the economy, the monthly jobs reports are not telling the whole story. Despite modest job gains, trends at play beneath the surface are a better reflection of the current job market and are making hiring more challenging. Not only are roles more blended than they used to be, many people are taking contract or contingent jobs in the growing gig economy. Also, with more and more are Boomers retiring, Millennials are taking over a large portion of the modern workforce and are job hopping while doing so.

What is the result of all of these factors and changes? Many companies—including SMBs—are struggling to fill open positions. Since January 2016, job postings on the Jazz platform have increased nearly 18%; this is in line with what the BLS jobs reports are saying. But our partners tell us they’re still having trouble filling those positions.

Some of these challenges will continue to be compounded, but there’s a few things SMBs can do now to prepare for the imminent end of year hiring cycle and beyond:

Changing How You Look at Talent: One particular challenge: finding workers with the right mix of domain experience and soft skills like adaptability, problem solving, conflict resolution and collaboration. The fact that the profile of the modern job candidate isn’t easily decipherable has added to this challenge. Employers must look at how they can take transferable skills and train candidates into roles to fill the gap.

One useful strategy is to look beyond standard attributes like education and past job responsibility and assess candidates’ judgement, communication, autonomy and problem-solving abilities. These softer skills and attributes take a bit more time and creativity to draw out of each candidate, but they’re true performance indicators of a reliably good hire. They’re critical to almost any role, and are much harder to hone-in on than teaching domain expertise for many positions. In the instance of a gap between a candidate’s experience and the job responsibilities, candidates demonstrating an aptitude for sound judgement, working independently and collaboration are often worth the risk for a non-technical role on a growing team.

Holiday Hiring Talent Squeeze: For retailers, the holiday shopping season generally marks their highest sales volume of the year, with many bringing on extra help to facilitate customer traffic, order fulfillment and more. These new hires will represent a large portion of any job gains realized in the October and November jobs reports.

Retail employers should expect competition in getting the right candidates and filling positions in a timely manner. Our data shows, on average, hiring for general retail jobs takes 24 days versus a 36-day average for all jobs while hiring a retail manager takes a bit longer, 33 days, closer to the 36-day average for all jobs. But competition for seasonal workers will be high, and ensuring time-to-hire remains fast is critical. One of the best ways to hire for the holidays is by getting referrals from your current employee base. Other quick options? Advertise on social media or hourly/seasonal-specific job boards, and reach out to past workers whose contact details might be in your applicant tracking system or applicant database.

Planning for 2017 Hiring & De-risking the Process: The record number of open jobs suggests the labor market is tilted in favor of the jobseeker. Employers are getting more creative around perks and offering higher salaries to handle this, but they’re also feeling pressure to just make a hire (any hire) as positions remain open.

This is risky behavior, as bringing the wrong person on the team at an SMB can have a long-standing and wide-reaching impact. Our advice is for SMB hiring managers to ignore the pressure to hire quickly for growth and focus your attention on improving your existing recruiting and hiring process.

This is rarely an area of focus, as SMB owners and hiring managers face the time crunch of managing their business and doing their jobs. It’s difficult to invest the necessary time in finding top talent, but in today’s climate, hiring needs to become a core competency. Take the time and re-assess existing openings. Does the job description still match your needs? Are you looking for the right skills during interviews? Are you looking for soft, transferrable skills? Are you challenging candidates in the right ways? Creating a framework to uncover true performance indicators by asking pointed and challenging questions during an interview will take time, but undoubtedly yield better results.


10—Millennials Ignite Entrepreneurial Growth

According to a new global survey commissioned by GoDaddy, entrepreneurship is easier than ever, fueled by technology and startup role models such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the two generations of global workers—Millennials and Baby Boomers—are driving a surge in the number of professionals looking to start their own businesses.

Survey highlights include:

Avoiding the Corporate 9-to-5: Autonomy is the #1 driver in becoming an entrepreneur. People want the ability to work when they want, where they want, and how they want. Flexibility (41%) trumped money (17%) and not worrying about being laid off (17%).

In the U.S. 70% of those who’ve participated in the Gig/Sharing economy say the main reason they do so is because of the flexibility, followed by money (30%).

Technology Eliminates Jobs, Creates Growth: As more people become comfortable using new technology (cloud-based tools, social media, mobile apps), they are applying it to their entrepreneurial ambitions. 81% of those surveyed say technology has made starting a business easier, and more than half (56%) prefer the “do it yourself” model for handling their tech needs. For 58% websites and social media are the most attractive channels to customers.

The loss of jobs is a contributing factor leading many workers to take the small business plunge: 18% of small business owners started their ventures after losing their jobs.

Overall, the global research painted a picture of our oldest and youngest generations of workers looking to seize the initiative and control their destiny:

  • 36% of professionals plan to either start a small business or be self-employed over the next 10 years. Including those who plan to moonlight with full-time jobs, that number jumps to an eye-opening 45%.
  • Millennials are taking the plunge and starting new ventures at a record pace, with 50% intending to start a business or become self-employed in the coming decade. In the U.S. alone, that means 37.7 million new entrepreneurs in the workforce.
  • Baby Boomers intend to pursue their passions during their Golden Years—21% plan to start their own venture or moonlight within the next 10 years. In America, that equates to more than 15.7 million new entrepreneurs.
  • 13% of Millennials and 7% of Baby Boomers say were laid off because of new technologies. Plus, 36% of Millennials and 25% of Baby Boomers say the introduction of new technologies reduced their work hours.
  • Many would-be entrepreneurs in the United States point to their parents (39%) and Mark Zuckerberg (27%) as role models. But Zuckerberg (40%) clearly tops parents (30%) among Millennials.
  • Entrepreneurs demonstrate a no-fear attitude—59% would try again if their current ventures failed. They say grit and determination (76%) are more important than having a great idea (53%).
  • Presidential candidates take note: 60% want government to do more to promote small business and entrepreneurs vs. 24% who say government should stay out of business altogether.


11—9 Keys to Making Your Small Business a Better Place to Work

What draws good employees to a business? Is it money? Culture? Express Vending took a look at nine employee handbooks from the likes of Facebook, Netflix, Nordstrom and others   to unlock some secrets. Take a look here.


12—The 5 Red Flags That Indicate You’re Ready for A Better B2B Support Solution

Guest post by Robert C. Johnson, CEO of TeamSupport

Businesses without reliable customer support software suffer from poor ticket management, lack of organization and ability to consolidate tickets across platforms, and inability to keep track of response times. Other than the obviously ticked off customers, there are several other red flags that indication when it’s time to invest in a better solution.

When organizing and routing tickets is a manual process: Did you know some companies have employees whose specific job is to route tickets to the right agents? Reallocate this overhead cost by implementing customer support software focused on B2B companies. By correctly setting up ticket types and ticket tags, you can create automation workflows that send the appropriate tickets to the correct person automatically. These workflows not only save money but also help to boost ticket resolution times as agents can focus on the ticket types they are knowledgeable about.

When the only way for a customer to receive an answer is to submit a ticket: Too often in B2B the only way to reach out to a company is through a “contact form” on a website. More sophisticated support solutions focus on actually preventing tickets from being submitted by setting up solutions such as knowledge bases and wikis that contain information and enable your customers to answer their own questions. It may take some time to get set up and you may lose a little of the personal touch, but many B2B customers love not having to wait for an answer to a simple question.

When agents can’t keep track of what products or software versions customers have: As amazing as your support team may be, there’s no way agents can be expected to remember the specifics around the products that customers are using. B2B customer support software can track not only specific inventory (such as server hardware) but also software versions to help your support agents find solutions that are applicable to each individual customer. This goes a long way in showing your customers that you understand their business—offering a solution that doesn’t even apply to the product a customer has is a terrible support experience for all involved.

When agents give customers with the same company different answers to the same question: This is one thing customers really do not like and it can be avoided by using the right software that allows for managing customers at a company level. For example, if you receive multiple tickets about the same issue from a company, those tickets can all be assigned to the same agent. They can also all be closed by the same agent in a single action using ticket relationships. You’re not only making sure communication is consistent but you’re also saving time. Having communication aligned is important in keeping your company credible and referenceable with your customers.

When you can’t accurately measure the overall success of your support efforts: This is becoming more difficult as more support channels, from live chat to email, have continued to emerge and evolve over the past two decades. But what if you had a way to actually measure all of these channels accurately? B2B customer support software can provide you with seemingly limitless metrics – from simple things such as ticket close times to more complex metrics including how many tickets are created from chat conversations and detailed breakdowns for each specific company you work with.


13—U.S. Payments Forum Provides Guidance on Optimizing Speed of EMV Transactions

Cardholders and merchants have indicated EMV transaction speeds is an area for improvement as the U.S. continues its migration to EMV chip technology. To provide guidance for issuers and merchants on speeding up EMV transaction times, the U.S. Payments Forum has released a new white paper, Optimizing Transaction Speed at the POS, that provides details on three approaches: “faster EMV” solutions, contactless/Near Field Communication (NFC) transactions, and EMV checkout optimization.

“The first phase of the chip migration was focused primarily on getting up and running with chip card acceptance to reduce in-store fraud. Now, merchants can consider additional steps to optimize chip transaction speeds to provide a better consumer payment experience and better throughput for merchants,” says Randy Vanderhoof, director of the U.S. Payments Forum.

The white paper includes three general solutions for stakeholders to consider to improve transaction times at the POS. These approaches are based on best practices from chip migrations in many other large countries, best practices from the U.S. migration, and a new capability to improve the point-of-sale experience in response to this issue in the U.S. For each category, a detailed description and analysis are presented, including considerations and implications for various stakeholder groups:

  1. Faster EMV Solutions. The white paper uses “faster EMV” as an umbrella term to describe the optimized online-only EMV transaction processing solutions announced separately by American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. These solutions retain the security features of EMV, while removing dependencies which can negatively impact the cardholder perception of transaction time.
  2. Contactless/NFC Transactions. Enabling EMV POS terminals to allow contactless/NFC mobile transactions in the U.S. can greatly improve the cardholder experience. Cardholders benefit from being able to tap and quickly put away the contactless-enabled payment device. Merchants and cardholders benefit from both perceived and actual reduced transaction time compared to contact methods.
  3. EMV Checkout Optimization. There are various techniques that merchants and issuers can implement to help optimize the chip checkout experience, arising from both new learnings in implementing EMV and from traditional approaches to optimizing checkout throughput.

Other resources created by the Forum relating to EMV chip technology in the U.S. can be found here.


14—Stay on Top of Security Threats

Today is the last day of National Cybersecurity Month, but it’s still a good time for small businesses to consider what security threats are lurking and what they can do to combat data breaches. Though cyberattacks can impact even the most established companies, small businesses are an especially attractive target for hackers.

According to a Manta survey conducted this month, most small business owners are optimistic that they won’t experience a data breach. Here are some other key findings from the survey:

  • Small business owners might undermine the likelihood of cyberattacks: 97% of SBOs don’t feel they’re at risk of experiencing a data breach yet 1 in 10 small businesses have experienced one.
  • Some small businesses lack security policies: Though 69% of small businesses have security controls in place, 30% don’t currently have formal policies around employee IT training, antivirus software and firewalls.
  • There’s a major separation between work and personal tech: The poll found that 64% of small business owners don’t allow their employees to use personal devices for work purposes. Similarly, only 20% have a BYOD policy in place.


Cool Tools


15—Simplified Shipping and Mailing

Pitney Bowes Inc., a global technology company that provides innovative products and solutions to power commerce, recently launched its SendPro 300 integrated shipping and mailing solution, which streamlines multi-carrier office shipping and mailing for small and medium businesses (SMBs). The all-in-one solution enables users to manage their sending with the USPS (mailing and shipping), FedEx or UPS. It connects users to the Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud, unlocking innovative solutions, analytics and APIs across the full commerce continuum.

Mark Shearer, Executive Vice President and President, Pitney Bowes Global SMB Solutions, says, “With the growing complexity of sending parcels, flats and mail through multiple carriers with a complex set of rates, service levels, tracking and billing processes, small and medium businesses are searching for ways to simplify their sending and save money. SendPro does both. It supports all office shipping by connecting users to shipping options, compliant label printing and tracking of deliveries. No matter who ships in the office, sending activity for all users and all carriers are consolidated into a single report, helping managers make informed decisions and gain better control over office shipping and mailing costs.”

Through its digital connection to the Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud, the SendPro 300 smart sending device receives automatic postal rate updates, low ink alerts, service warnings and diagnostic notifications. In addition, users can easily manage key functions such as request service, check billing or even order supplies right from its intuitive, responsive touchscreen display.

The SendPro 300 solution also helps SMBs save, including the new AutoInk feature with automatic ink replenishments and savings of 20% off the retail ink price. SendPro users save one-half cent on postage for every letter sent with USPS First Class Mail and automatically qualify for discounts on Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and package services.  For example, users save 25% on a 5 lb. package shipped locally via Priority Mail and at least 10% on all their Priority Mail Express shipments. For shipping with FedEx and UPS, SendPro accesses an organization’s contract rates or published online rates.

From compliant label printing to comparing shipping options, package tracking and consolidated reporting, the SendPro 300 solution allows users to simplify their sending workflow. The device is equipped with a comprehensive set of mailing features and a label printer to enable users to easily process letters and ship packages from the touchscreen display.

Pitney Bowes also unveiled a new Technology Replacement Option (TRO) that allows clients to upgrade to the new SendPro 300 without having to wait until their current lease term expires. In addition, Pitney Bowes recently expanded its Purchase Power consolidated carrier billing, payments and credit offering to include USPS parcel payments, further simplifying the process by consolidating billing and payments for mailing and shipping in a single monthly bill.


16—Convert Customer Searches into Sales

Relevant Search, a new Bank of America Merchant Services ecommerce solution, helps businesses improve their customers’ online shopping experience by delivering better search results on their website. It drives merchants’ online revenue by converting more customer searches into sales; boosting the ability to recommend, cross-sell, upsell, and promote other relevant products; and optimizing marketing campaigns. In addition, through the use of an API, businesses can tap into the power of Relevant Search℠ without having to build and maintain their own in-house search engine.

A study by the ecommerce usability research center Baymard Institute found that 70% of the top 50 retail websites failed to return relevant results for searches using product synonyms. Delivering unhelpful or unsatisfying search results can put revenue at risk as visitors who use embedded search functionality tend to spend more time on a site and purchase more.

Key Relevant Search features include:

  • Dynamic Search: Navigation actively changes as a customer completes a search, resulting in displays of products in sizes, colors and options that more closely match what’s being sought.
  • Intelligent Navigation: The solution learns as customers interact with the site to deliver targeted recommendations and suggested queries based on collective search behavior.
  • Merchandise Control: Lets merchants better manage the customer experience and increase cart size by influencing cross-sell and upsell results.
  • Seamless API Interface: Flexible integration allows businesses to connect to powerful cloud-based search technology while still owning the look and feel of site results.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Organically increases search results by building word-rich URLs that are easier for search engines to navigate, driving targeted traffic to the site.


17—Website Builder

Vistaprint, a leading online provider of professional marketing products and services to micro business owners, launched a completely redesigned website builder from Vistaprint Digital allowing users to create an online presence that rivals big-budget competitors. According to new research by Vistaprint Digital, nearly 70% of businesses with fewer than 10 employees market both online and in print.

According to D. Scott Bowen, vice president and general manager of Vistaprint Digital, 33% of consumers discover small businesses for the first time online, but 45% are unlikely to shop at one with a poorly designed website.”

All templates are completely responsive, providing users an instant mobile site without any additional work. Additional key features include:

  • Elements of other digital and printed marketing materials—including logos, backgrounds, design components and images—automatically appear in the image library if the customer already uses Vistaprint.
  • Custom domain names stay free for as long as the user stays with Vistaprint Digital.
  • Pre-designed blocks eliminate the overwhelming feeling of infinite design decisions, which helps save time and put the focus on site content.
  • Affordable pricing, ranging from $5 to $25 per month, with free custom domains in two of the packages.