September News Roundup: Mobile Is Taking Over, Goodbye Google Authorship and More

eCommerce-NewsOur eCommerce veterans and podcast hosts Andrew Youderian and Drew Sanocki are back for a look at the biggest news in the world of eCommerce. We’ve got some not surprising news about mobile (depending on who you ask) and lots of updates from the Google ecosystem. Here’s a look at what everyone is talking about in September.

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Outsourcing Tips for Finding Phenomenal Remote Workers

RemoteFinding great outsourcers is hard.  How can you hire great remote workers among the sea of amateurs who will waste your time or, worse, hurt your business?

We spoke to one of the first adopters of outsourcing, Katrina McKinnon, who has been outsourcing work since the 90s, before it was the cool – or understood – thing to do. After years of experience, she shares her best outsourcing tips.

She specializes in how to find the absolute best candidates and make sure both the employee and the employed are happy.

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Managing a Virtual Team Across 5 Time Zones

Globe-PictureIt’s 7 a.m. in Montana and I’ve just rolled out of bed.  After pouring some coffee, I check-in on my team in Asana.

Our programmer in India is wrapping up his day, and just pushed a new set of changes to the website.  Our Content & Community manager, Laura – who’s two hours ahead on the East Coast and an early riser – has been hard at work for hours.

Our team members in the Philippines are an hour into their night shift to help run U.S.-based eCommerce operations.  And given it’s 6:00am in Los Angeles, I’m guessing our accountant is fast asleep.

It’s pretty cool to realize your team is distributed across the globe. But trying to streamline collaboration and finish complex projects while working across five different times zones can get dicey.

After having made every mistake in the book, here are the virtual team management techniques I use to keep things operating smoothly.

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July Roundup: The eCommerce News You Need to Know

eCommerce-NewsWelcome to our first ever monthly eCommerce news roundup! We’re looking back at the hot button issues from July with veteran eCommerce experts, podcast hosts and funny guys Andrew Youderian and Drew Sanocki. Here’s a look at the biggest news in the world of eCommerce.
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eCommerceFuel Live: The Event for Independent Store Owners

ECF-Live-with-date

If you’re an independent store owner or eCommerce professional who’s serious about networking with and learning from some of the best in our field, you won’t want to miss eCommercefuel Live.  It’s this August 22nd – 24th in Austin, TX.

Join us for a weekend of connecting, sharing eCommerce strategies, expert speakers, breakout sessions and swapping stories from the trenches. We’ll also mix in plenty of fun group activities planned around Austin, including an opening party at Bigcommerce headquarters.

Originally created for members of our private forum (who have already snagged many of the tickets), we’re opening up the remaining available spots publicly to qualified candidates.

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Boring Products? No Problem. How to Write Compelling Copy for Anything.

Writer's BlockThis is a post from Laura Serino, the new Content & Community Manager for eCommerceFuel.  She’s come onboard to help me (Andrew) with top-notch blog content and improving our private forum.  

Laura joins the team with years of professional copywriting and eCommerce experience, which you can learn more about here.  Expect to hear more from her in the months ahead.  Take it away, Laura!

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Consider tube socks.

They’re white and made from cotton, ribbed with an elastic hem. They look bad with black sneakers and shorts.

There isn’t really anything exciting to say about them.

Or is there? [Continue reading]

The MC Hammer Guide to Shopify vs Bigcommerce

Shopify-BC-MC-ImgThe great debates never get old: Ford vs. Chevy.  Mac vs. PC.  Boxers vs. briefs.

And if you’re an eCommerce nut like I am: Shopify vs. Bigcommerce.

If you’ve explored starting a store, chances are good you’ve struggled with this decision, as Shopify and Bigcommerce are the two best known hosted carts. So which do you choose? [Continue reading]

The Case for Bootstrapping Your Business

Boostrapping-LadderThese days, it’s very fashionable to have a business “funded” by an investor or venture capital firm.  While this kind of funding is most prevalent in the tech sector, it’s still tempting for ambitious new store owners to bring on investors or get a business loan to “accelerate” their progress.

But that’s almost always a bad idea. Here’s why bootstrapping your business is usually the better alternative.

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How I Nearly Botched My Business Sale

Despair-Small“Are you still interested in buying the business?”

The potential buyer had been grappling over the weekend with a few troubling issues he’d discovered in due diligence for TrollingMotors.net.  It was now Monday morning, and we were on a stressful, high-stakes call to see if we could keep the deal moving forward.

On the line: losing a month of progress with a qualified buyer, and all the momentum I’d built with my public $185,000 auction process.

How did things get to this point? [Continue reading]

How People Judge You Based on the Emails You Write

JudgeLookSmallForget about spinning articles and directory listings.  If you want to effectively market your business online, you need to become an expert at networking with others in your niche.

But there’s a problem: Inboxes have turned into out-of-control monsters. People are increasingly being ambushed with unwanted messages, and they’re getting less timid about hitting the delete key when faced with unsolicited emails.  Often, you have only a few seconds to make a good impression.

So how can you rise above the din?  The recipient of your email will ask (perhaps subconsciously) three questions about you when deciding how to respond.   [Continue reading]