Want to sell more? Hack your customer’s brains (pun intended)

Its probably one of the most obvious things to say but sales is always about the second person. The buyer is always on the top and the seller always a step below just replying to the needs of the user. And yet somehow it’s the seller who has to do the more work and keep the consumer happy and satisfied. He has to understand what the user wants and cater to his every need in a jiffy.


Today lets discuss a few tips that take a sneak peak into the minds of our customers. Once we know what they are thinking, we know how and what they want.

1. Do not offer too many choices

Well we all know about analysis paralysis, where you can’t pick anything just because there is too much to choose from.


The person usually walks away from your site frustrated and confused because he came to buy five things but he is no longer sure whether he wants to buy five or twenty five now! He can’t choose one thing particularly and hence he just quits in anguish. That is “Analysis Paralysis.” Yes, they just have a term for everything now! Exasperating, isn’t it!

What does that mean exactly? No I am not suggesting that of the 50 products you are selling, you eliminate 45 of those and leave only 5 products to buy from on your page. That would be stupid and really weird for your site.

Here comes the method of the breadcrumb search. Here you pick one path and then move on to one path in that chosen path. Then choose another path in that chosen path and so on until you arrive at the product you wish to buy.

You categorize different brands under a limited number of choice umbrellas. Instead of telling people “here’s all of my stuff,” you say, “here are 5 categories of stuff.” Pick which category is right for you, then pick the item in that category that’s right for you.

Look at it like a Supermarket. When you walk into the store, you know there’s a fruit/vegetables area, a meat area, a dairy area, and so on. In each little section, there’s thousands of products to choose from. But they make the decision easy on you by tossing them into similar categories.

Online the same thing applies.

When you’re designing your site, don’t simply share 1 million different categories of what you want to sell. Instead, focus on the “main” areas of your items and let the users choose accordingly.

 2.  Visual Recognition

Did you know color can increase brand recognition by 80%? And brand recognition directly links to consumer confidence? Well it is rather silly if you ask me but it is also true!

Every user has a sort of visual frame of reference whilst assessing any website they visit. Some colors make them comfortable and sure about the site while some are just plain dry offs that users cannot relate to or more importantly trust very well. Not only colors but pictures and images that one can easily understand are definitely a very useful tool in grabbing the eyes of potential customers. They would rather go for something their eyes approve of than reading a description and taking it as per the word.

So appeal to this sense and sales will grow manifold without a doubt!


3. Mystery enhances your consumer base

Sometimes when a company surfaces on the news or the internet regarding some really surprising piece of news which is completely out-of-the-blue, we usually ditch everything and just go check that site out. We really want to know something new all the time, you may call it hunger for gossip but frankly its just human curiosity.

Take for instance Apple, that is one of the most secretive companies ever.

Haven’t you seen loads of websites dedicated to speculating about Apple products, Apple features, and anything else that’s Apple?

Well their secrets create mystery… which in turn sparks speculation in the blogosphere… which leads to free publicity for Apple… and thus more sales.

So do you have a “secret formula” for your company or an exciting piece of news that might make people gasp in awe as “Whoa! That is really trendy. I guess I should give these new creative minds a chance to impress me!”  You could also have a proprietary way of doing things. If so, instead of being forthcoming and revealing the entire magic, withhold some information and watch your fans speculate… thus sending you more sales.

 4. Enemies are Important

When you’re using the web to generate leads and sales, you have one main goal… and that’s to make your customers absolutely love you.

But that love comes with a price. When there are people who love what you do, there will be people that hate what you do, too. I know this sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

I know changing people’s minds is damn near impossible, so instead of wasting time trying to “change” someone, I go after the people who already like me… and focus on making them happy.

But what does this have to do with getting more sales?

That part is easy.

If you nurture your best customers and readers, they’ll turn into evangelists. They’ll turn into your street team of people who tell everyone to read and buy your products.

But where does the enemy part fit in? That is actually the tricky part.


The thing is, you don’t need a physical enemy, you need to be against a belief or an idea.

Solidifying your unique selling proposition is as much about deciding who your ideal customer is not as much as it is about defining who they are.

You’ll never find your true voice without something to stand against. This doesn’t have to be another brand, but in order to divide your ideal customers into your “camp,” you need to be against some ideal, belief, or perception, the way Apple was against “boring” PC users in their ads.

Want to Sell More on eCommerce

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How to create Free Email IDs for Your Custom Domain

We will use www.outlook.com’s free email ID service to offer upto 50 FREE email IDs!

Basically its a three step process:
1. Step 1, create a regular anythingyouwant@outlook.com email ID. This will be the administrator email account
2. Step 2, setup custom email addresses feature on outlook.com
3. Step 3, link your domain name with the new outlook feature

Step 1:
Go to www.outlook.com. Click on “Sign Up Now”

Fill out the form from Microsoft to complete your email account setup.

Note: this is NOT the final email ID you will use. This is just an “administrator” account setup.

Step 2:
a. Go to http://domains.live.com

b. Click on Sign In (unless you are already logged in)

c. Click on “Get Started”

(Or you can directly visit: https://domains.live.com/Signup/SignupDomain.aspx )

d. Fill out your required domain name and select “Setup Outlook.com” feature

e. Review Settings and Accept Agreement


f. Next, you will get a bunch of settings to configure as follows:


Step 3: Linking Outlook and Your Domain


***Assumption: you have registered your domain at www.godaddy.com***


You will now be required to login to your domain registrar, and setup MX Records & TXT Records. It’s simpler than it sounds. I’ll try my best to guide you through.


a. Login to your Godaddy (or other registrar account):

b. Go to your domain page:

c. Under the DNS manager, click on “Launch”

d. Delete any MX records that exist:


e. Enter the MX record from Outlook.com by clicking “Quick Add” :


f. Next add the next MX Record (the one with “invalid” text in it)  – but ensure a lower priority – e.g., 20 for this record


g. Then add the TWO txt records:


That’s it! You domain name and account are now connected.  You will see a success message on the Windows Live Admin center (where you saw the settings).


Steps for Creating New Email IDs on Your Custom Domain:


a. Go to http://domains.live.com

b. You will see your domain listed:

c. Click on your domain (that you previously added):

d. Click on member accounts:

e. Now you can add as many email IDs as you want and set their password by clicking on the “Add” button:



f. For every new email account you add, you will need to fill out the following:


That’s It!


To access any email address,

a. Goto www.outlook.com

b. Enter username as emailid@yourdomain.com

c. Enter the password




Important Note: until you actually log on ONCE after creating a new email ID, it will not be activated. So e.g., you create an email id sales@yourdomain.com, any emails sent to this email ID will bounce unless and until you have logged on ONCE with that particular email ID.



Steps for Setting Up Your Email IDs with your favorite mail client:


Incoming settings:

username: emailaddress @ yourdomain . com

password: your password

pop3 server: pop3.live.com

port: 995

security type: SSL/TLS

Delete email from server: never


Outgoing Settings:

SMTP Server: smtp.live.com

Port: 587

Security Type: STARTTLS

Require Sign-in: YES

Username: same as username above

Password: same as above

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Find products to sell online

Looking for products to sell online? Read on!

Before jumping into the online business world there are a few things to consider. Anyone can build a website but getting a website in a profitable position requires a great deal of market research and strategy. Just because it is a business that can be operated virtually does not mean that traditional business techniques do not apply. It takes a good idea, hard work, a positive attitude, the right tools, and in most cases some professional assistance. So what are the best products to sell online? Electronics? Books? Apparel? Software? This may be the most important thing to consider when opening an online store.  How do you create a business that is profitable? What kind of products do you sell to set yourself apart from the competition? Once upon a time, you could sell just about any commodity and you would actually be able to make a good profit doing so. But not now. There are millions of e-commerce stores out there so yours needs to stand out in order to make sales.


1. Select category

Think of a particular category of products you want to sell. Take time to do some significant research to learn about how much competition there is in the category of products you have selected. Also research the demand for your products. Choosing a market with relatively low competition and high demand has the potential to grow your business.

2. Find manufacturer

The biggest problem is that even if you manage to choose a product or a set of products you want to sell, where the heck are you going to source your products from? How and where do you contact the manufacturer so you can get wholesale pricing? So find manufacturing units, big or small, who are close to you and can give you desired products at feasible prices.

3. Know your profit

Choose a product that can help you to make money. That’s why you probably decided to begin a new business venture in the first place, right? Why sell a product that only allows you to make a few bucks? This will take millions of visitors and thousands of sales in order to make a significant profit. Offering a product with a decent price tag allows you to make good money with a few months’ sales. Research the market to see how the competition is pricing their products and make sure you can compete.

4. See for shipping

The product should not be fragile and easy to ship. Fragile products can be an invitation for trouble.The product should reach the customer in fantastic condition. Also, the product should not take up much physical space. Product size and weight can have a big impact on your sales. These factors also determine the shipping costs. More and more customers expect free shipping these days. If your product is oversized or heavy, ultimately you will have to bear the shipping costs which will bring down your profits. Asking the customers to pay for shipping should be your last choice. (It has been observed that shipping costs are the number one  reason for shopping cart abandonment.) Always keep in mind that even if it’s the shippers’ fault, it is the customer’s experience which becomes bad with your store. You are ultimately responsible for that entire experience.

5. Check on value

Having a good product is one of the most crucial pieces to an e-commerce business, if not the most critical. Preferably, the product’s inherent value should be ambiguous. For example, I would never sell electronics because there is a set value for your goods that everyone is aware of. Also, the product should be timeless. Once again, I would never sell electronics because they lose value the longer they stay on the shelves.

Products to Sell Online

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How to Effectively Manage Shipping

On the front every e-commerce site is judged by the beauty of the designed site and the technical features it incorporates in its working. But behind the stage what really matters is the quality of the delivered products. And that final test of every site is evaluated upon the strength and finesse of the packaging, because it is the condition of the arrived goods that determines the credibility of the site.

The first step is recognising what type of stuff you are dealing with. You should know the obvious specifications, i.e. the size and the weight of the goods. Now, choose a box strength that is suitable for the contents you are shipping. Following specific Box Strength Guidelines will help ensure your package is of adequate strength to provide sufficient protection.

Any other important information like Fragile, Perishable, Toxic, Inflammable and Electronic should also be noted carefully. And goods of the same type should be sorted together.

Once you know what kind of stuff you are dealing with the packaging can now be determined easily. First we work on the outer packing. The most common are the corrugated boxes which are basically just hard cardboard boxes. They can easily load stuff like books, tools, pictures, basically anything i.e. a “flat” item. They have amazing stacking strength and can keep stuff from the mightiest of falls. Then there is the non-fragile stuff that can be loaded in the courier envelopes which are just basic packages without any cushioning etc. For all the fragile stuff like electronic materials including laptops, phones, pen drives or medical supplies like medicines, dental etc you should go for padded boxes. These padded mailers have excellent cushioning and they absorb majority of the shocks felt on the way to the delivery. Although they are absolutely useless for something that can be easily crushed as they have almost zero stacking strength.

Once the basic outer packing is done we concentrate on the inner packaging. The best cushioning is the bubble wrap. It is the most perfect and versatile protective material possibly known to mankind. Yet it fails to limit movement and is ineffective in case of lightweight and breakable items that can be transported safely only when they stay in one place. For such items that require to be kept in one place the most apt padding material is engineered foam. It fills any amount of space with great ease and provides excellent cushioning.

If you take the time and care to utilize the proper inner and outer packaging, but use a sealing method that fails, your package will ultimately fail as well. Therefore, properly sealing your package is just as important as the inner and outer packaging. The best type of tape is duct tape and frankly there is almost nothing like it. For handy and lightweight items though, pressure resistant tape is preferable.

Lastly after all the general limitations of the carriers are satisfied, you should determine how you would like to ship your package. It should be noted that there are no specific preferences towards any mode of transportation. Therefore, your decision of carrier should be based on your understanding of shipping rates and the available modes of shipping.

Once all this done just put the correct delivery address on your packed item and do provide package orientation details like “fragile” if necessary.

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