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Free Online Tools To Go E-Commerce

Now that businesses have realised the importance of E-Commerce more than ever before, it is time to move forward or be left behind and risk shutting down.
IMDA Singapore has been pushing for business to Go Digital for a couple of years now. We’d like to do our part to help businesses make this push to get their sales online. We will go through some of the popular and easy to use online tools that you can leverage on.

  1. Facebook Shop
    Facebook Shop is number one as it is the best place for you start strong and have a pool of ready audience who can either be your customers or can help you spread the word. How to set up a Facebook Shop:
    – Setup a Facebook Page
    – Select the “Shop” tab on your Facebook Page
    – Change you Page temple to “Shopping Template”
    – Remember to accept the Facebook “Merchant Terms” when you set up your Facebook Shop.
    Once this is done, you’re all set to add items into your Facebook Shop.
  2. Instagram Shop (IG Shop)
    Number 2 on the list is Instagram Shop or IG Shop. This is another fantastic place for you to start but only after Facebook Shop. To start an Instagram Shop, make sure that you have a Facebook Page fully up first with the Facebook Shop. Then, setup an Instagram Business Account and connect this account to your Facebook Page. For now, the IG Shop needs to be a shop that primarily sells physical good until IG reviews this again in the future. Lastly, have you IG Shop connect to a Facebook Catalogue. Once done, change your profile settings to Instagram Shopping and you’re ready to sell. Just wait for IG to review and account which shouldn’t take too long.

    Just my 2 cents worth. From personal experience, beauty and health products seems to perform exceptionally well in Instagram.
  3. Sell your products on Lazada, Qoo10, Amazon and Shopee. Now, EnterpriseSG is providing the E-Commerce Booster Package up to $9,000 worth of support for you to come onboard these platforms. So, it’s practically free for you to start selling on these platforms. They only take a cut from a sale that you get on their platform. Another plus point for these platform is that they will take care of everything else. All you need to do is list it on their platform.

Do remember that people need to be able to browse, interact, transact and receive their purchases. So just having a a shopfront solves the browsing. All the platforms listed above have instant messaging functions which solves the interaction part. For transaction, only point number 3 solves this problem. For the first 2, the payment solution is only open to selected Pages. If you are new, you will most probably not fall into the “selected Pages”. But you can create your own payment solution like giving customers a way to transfer payment and you email back an e-invoice. The best way is of course to link this Facebook and Instagram shop to an E-Commerce website whereby customers can select clear payment methods. The last part of the process would be receiving of items. There’s only 3 options, self-collect, doorstep delivery, pickup from a pickup point. Prepare some solutions for these options.

These are the 3 Free Tools that you can leverage on as a business owner to bring you store online. There’s a few more tools but they a not Free but considered as low-cost like Carousell and Google My Business.

So now, that you have this knowledge, let’s move forward. As an entrepreneur, some of the attributes need to come in hard into play now. Be resilient and adapt to changes.

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What Makes A Successful E-Commerce Store?

Since the start of COVID-19 and especially the Circuit Breaker in Singapore, many businesses begin to truly understand the importance of being able to sell online and automate business processes. Generally, IMDA and Enterprise SG have been promoting the Go Digital Programme for awhile now. It’s up to the businesses to move forward or risk closing down.

With E-Commerce Ads popping up everywhere for small business owners and the Go Digital programme encouraging it, many business owners are wondering how to move forward.

There’s many options available out there today in the market. The majority go with the easiest option which is to try and use Shopify. It is fairly easy to use as long as the user have at least have a certain level of comfort in navigation things online, computer usage, e-commerce terms, basic designing, managing a documented stock.

The next available option would be the usage of WooCommerce. It is a really great platform and fairly easy to use. The only knowledge the user requires would be purchasing of hosting and domain, and WordPress usage. Once you can do this, you’re good to go. Of course some designing skills as well if not the user experience is going to be pretty bad.

As a business owner, do you have the time to go through tutorials for a month and keep on improving your e-commerce store while running the core business?

Here’s 3 most important characteristics needed for a successful e-commerce website:

  1. Scalability & Flexibility
    Your e-commerce site must be flexible and scalable. So that you can alway expand upon the inventory, make customizations, improve process flows, automate processes, etc.. For small businesses, this is usually not a problem. For the medium and large business, do consider this when creating your e-commerce website or you might get stuck with a beautifully rigid website.
  2. Mobile Responsive
    With 80% of our time spent on mobile phones, the website needs to be suitable for mobile first, other devices second.
  3. Search Engine-Friendly
    The site needs to be simple and clean so that it can easily rank and appear in SEO searches.

So now that you know what a successful e-commerce website needs, what’s next?

Well, you need to let people know that you now have an e-commerce site. The first and most important group of people you need to inform, past and existing customers. These are free leads for you. Make sure to get them onboard your e-commerce website. After this group, you will need to spend a little to make your new e-commerce website to the right group of people.

We will cover on visibility of your e-commerce website in our next post.

Now that you know all these, come forward and create your very own E-Commerce Website with us!

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Getting SEO Visibility In Singapore

SEO.

We hear this alot these days. From our experience with multiple clients and prospects, we realised that many are actually confused. What are they confused about? Well, most are generally confused about SEO with PPC Campaign.

Let us dig in a little. What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is basically optimising your site so that it becomes visible when someone does a search on a search engine like Google Search. There’s hundred of sites in your local area. Yet when you do a search on something, there’s only about 10 organic search results shown on the first page. How many pages do you normally search before typing in another set of keyword again to run another search?
The majority of users search only a maximum of 2 pages. Meaning a ranking of 1 to 20 only. The rest area not seen by the user.

So how to make your website seen when people do a search? The answer is SEO.

Why businesses who believe is SEO will spend time and money on getting their SEO right and why those who don’t understand the power of SEO won’t do anything about it. People search all the time! They continuously do searches to seek information, the best deals, and the hottest brands. According to Google data, people conduct more than 100 billion Google searches each month.

The most powerful part is that people search in the moment of need. When people realize they want or need something. From a product, a vacation, a family activity, a piece of information, they instinctively turn to search. People search throughout their day in “want-to-know,” want-to-go,” “want-to-do,” and “want-to-buy” moments. So you’d want to be there in their moment. Remember back in the day the plumbers or electrician used to give free fridge magnets with their company information on them? Today, that same magnet remains nothing more than just a magnet. When something happens, no one got to the fridge to get a phone number. They turn to Google.

Everyone use their devices on the go. They search from their computers at home and from their mobile phones and tablets while on-the-go. You want to make sure that you are seen when they are searching.

Now, how to make sure that you’re seen in searches that happens in Singapore?

Local SEO is the answer. Singapore is a really small country. Everything is considered local. We’re not a big country like our neighbours whereby different states have very different culture and dialect. TO be successful in Singapore search results, Local SEO is key.

How to ensure a successful Local SEO?

  1. Have a Google My Business (GMB) account. Update it every week with the latest information, event or promotion.
  2. Get Google reviews. Take the extra effort to get your customers leave a review. Those review stars mean a lot.
  3. Write about local stuffs in your blog page. The more local it is, the higher the chances of Google picking it up.
  4. Ensure that your NAP (Name, Address, Place) information is the same and consistent everywhere online.
  5. Lastly, optimize optimize optimize. Doing SEO take a lot of time. Generally, it takes between 9 months to 12 months for your SEO to take effect. Anything less is possible but we do not want to “over-promise”. We give you the truth.

How much do marketing agencies charge for a SEO service?

Well, this of course differs between agencies but the general rate would be somewhere between $400 – $1000 per month to target between 4 – 12 keywords. Of course there are those that charge like only $200 per month and there are those that charge $2,000 per month. What’s the difference? Quality. As mentioned before, SEO requires a pretty good amount of leg-work. This means high man-hours doing optimisation and analysis. The lesser you pay, chance are you may not see any results because the number of man-hours would not be enough or the “analyst” would probably be an unskilled person. But SEO when you put in time and effort to do it right, the results will definitely pay-off. Why is SEO a must for all businesses? Imagine this, instead of you trying to market your product on your customers screen, your customer are actually searching for your product or service online. They want something that you have and are looking for it. Chances are, they want to move forward so that you can make a sale.

SEO is a long-term game. But once you’re in, sales will come in naturally.

But for those who aren’t patient enough, there’s another much more costly way to do thing but with instant results. It’s called, PPC. We’ll touch on this in our next article.

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Difference between Facebook Boost Posts and Facebook Ads Manager.

Facebook posts and Facebook Ads Manager

FACEBOOK BOOST POSTS AND FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Many times from 2018 to 2019 when I get an enquiry or a phone call from an SME founder/owner, they’re usually seeking for to do SEO or SEM. My next question to them is usually to ask if they would like to do some form of Facebook Marketing or Facebook Advertising as well. Almost 99% of them time, their answer is, “No”. So, I’ll proceed with my next question, “Why not?” The answer is always pretty much, “We’re already doing it and it doesn’t work.” Which makes me wonder, how bad could it be? As I stare at the Ads Manager every single day, it makes me wonder what happened to these guys. After probing further, I then learned that what they meant by, “We already did Facebook Ads” was actually a “boost post” and wait for some form of engagement or conversion from that boosted post. This concept actually works around 5 years ago. But with the super fast-paced digital updates and evolution, “boost post” is now more of a concurrent effort if it’s even used rather than the actual form of marketing.

So, now comes the question for those who actually though “Boost Post” is all there is in Facebook Advertising or Facebook Marketing, if not “Boost Post”, then what else is there on Facebook? Well, there’s a whole new world of advertising on Facebook called “Ads Manager”.

What’s the difference between “Boost Post” and Facebook Ads?

(Do take note that the most important thing in Digital Marketing is to know your exact objective on why you want to run a particular Ad. What is the purpose of the Ad?)

Boost Post

A “Boost Post” means creating a Facebook Post to your Business Page timeline first. Then, you click the “Boost Post” button in the post and another side window comes up. From the sidebar, you can customise your boost in 3 ways:

  1. Who you want to reach.

You can pick the audience type you’d like your post to connect with.

2. Your maximum budget.

You state how much exactly you’d like to spend to reach the audience that you have set in step 1. Minimum spend is $5.

3. How long would you like to run your boosted post to your selected audience.

Select a start date and end date. With these dates, your selected audience should be able to see your post within the duration selected in their News Feed.

You’ll also need to input your payment method so that Facebook can deduct the budget set. Boosted posts are also considered as an Ad as you’re spending on your normal post to reach a wider audience on Facebook.

Next, Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ads uses Ads Manager which is the “heart” of Facebook Advertising or Facebook Marketing. Facebook Ads that are created through Ads Manager are highly customizable and offer advanced solutions. There are various advertising objectives that you can select to help you achieve your marketing objectives to the audience that you care about most.

What more can you do with Facebook Ads?

Here are the 4 broad categories that you can look achieve in Facebook Ads, Ads Manager:

  1. Choose different Ads placements.

 You get the additional benefit of choosing between placements in Facebook News Feed side ads, Messenger ads, Instagram stories, instant articles, and Audience Network.

2. Use very specific Ads objective.

Being able to select a specific Ad objective is important as it helps to align your Ads to your campaign goals. Ads Manager lets you choose objectives like Store Traffic, Conversions, and Lead Generation. You can also create and manage ads through the Ads Manager mobile app.

3. Maintain Creative Control

You can design specific Ad creatives that fit your goals. You can create Carousel Ads, Canvas Ads and many more. Accompanying each Ad would be descriptions and Call-To-Action buttons that can drive specific actions from your target audience.

4. Use Advanced Targeting Capabilities

On top of the usual interests, age and gender, you’ll be able to reach to the audience that you care about most. There are more advanced tools available to create overlapping audience sets like Lookalike Audiences and more.

When to use Facebook Ads and when to use Boost Post?

It is very important to be able to identify you main objective for that particular campaign. Ads for 1 objective can sometimes have positive side-effects and fulfilling another objective at the same time. To maximise your Ads, best to have a skilled and certified personnel do it and you will see results.

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How are digital marketing charges like?

How Do Digital Marketing Agencies Charge?

How much do I need to pay for Digital Marketing Services in Singapore?

In the age of social media and search engine, every business must embrace digital marketing so as not to be left behind. Digital marketing has proved to be essential with the rise of e-commerce and many new startups growing faster than a family owned business that has been running for over 20 years. So, how much exactly does it cost to do digital marketing? What is the actual price and perhaps charges on digital marketing services in Singapore?

Well, below are the 2 common ways how agencies charge for their services. They are also a guideline as to how agencies come up with their digital marketing price.

1.A percentage of your total media buying budget.

Example: You have a digital marketing budget of $2000/month. The agency usually charges somewhere between 20% – 25% from that amount as their management fees and the rest will be used to pay the platforms e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc..

Pros: Easy for you to allocate your budget.

Cons: If the marketing budget is very low, you will keep hearing the agency to ask you to increase your budget every single day. For a low budget company, it is not recommended to take this style as the Ad performance is usually ineffective.

2. A fixed monthly management fee.

Example: The digital marketing agency charges $1000/month for management of digital marketing and everything else that they offer in their package. This amount does not include the media buying that needs to be paid to the various marketing platform, e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc.. For this style, your company needs to plan how much you’d like to spend in total and do the breakdown 1st. You may speak to the agency for the recommended amount to spend according to your objective.

Pros: The company is being paid for what they asked. The rest is on you. They will do their best and whatever it takes to ensure that your Ads are successful or exceeds its objectives.

Cons: You need to calculate carefully to factor in your media buying budget. You will tend to overspend using this method. But if results can be seen, I’m sure nobody minds.

But at Doozlers Digital Solutions, we did a survey on why businesses have not gone into digital marketing fully or have not even tried digital marketing. Apart from not understanding how digital marketing works, they feel insecure that no company offers guarantees. So at Doozlers, we came out with a third way for this group of businesses.

3. Pay 5% – 10% of the total number of deals you’d like to get for the month.

This means that the company pays Doozlers Digital Solutions anywhere between 5% – 10% from their product/services total price first. If Doozlers does not deliver at least 60% – 70% of the desired objective, the whole sum that was given in the beginning will be refunded back 100%.

This is good for big ticket items like properties, wedding packages, renovation packages, etc..

For Singapore, such a package is definitely a first of its kind because Doodlers Digital Solutions is fully confident that the objectives given will be met. So, why wait? Need an effective digital marketing company? Just contact Doozlers Digital Solutions today!

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FREE & Low Cost​ Digital Marketing Tips

FREE & Low Cost Digital Marketing Channels

Even though marketing via the digital channel costs only a fraction of the traditional channel, not every business out there has an actual marketing budget. Especially a newly incorporated company that is self-funded. But not to worry, in today’s digital age, anything is possible.

  1. Utilize Facebook Pages & Groups. There’s many such communities and groups available on Facebook these days. Especially the Facebook Live Shopping groups, they’re a non-stop hit. It’s totally FREE! Do explore the marketplace and you’ll understand.
  2. Use FREE listing on other platforms. For example, Carousell & Gumtree allows a certain amount of FREE listings before you need to pay in different forms to list your business.
  3. Optimize your Landing Page/Website on a daily basis. Spend time to look through your web pages and ensure that they are optimized for search engine.
  4. Do as much content writing as possible. Content writing in the form of blogs is more than enough. This will help your site be available on search in many different ways and increase site traffic.
  5. Always update your social media platform business accounts. Constantly update them even if you only have 10 followers who are only friends.
  6. Get your friends online to help share and invite their friends to like and follow your account. You’ll never know, someone might just need your business.
  7. Use Google My Business Listing to give your business some visibility on Google Maps.

These are some tips. All of them can be done all by yourself. The only prerequisite is lots of time and willingness to learn. So, don’t wait and get started now.

In any case, if you need the help of an expert to do the job for you it is not very costly either. At Doozlers, every business is unique and not 2 business are the same. Just talk to us and we’ll try our best to explore various options for you.

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Why do Digital Marketing?

Why Do Digital Marketing?

Since last year, we’ve all seen the endless advertisements, videos, and tutorials online on digital marketing. All of these tells us how much we can earn by adopting Digital Marketing. It is time we recap on what is marketing.

Today, you decided to open a shoe store. You have a product to sell and rented a shop to sell shoes. But, nobody seems to be buying your shoes. They are all buying your competitors shoes down streets down. Do you start to wonder, “How come?”.

Well, having a business idea and a product does not sell the product. Advertising and marketing do the selling. Back in the early 2000s and before that, only big businesses could afford real advertising. It was too expensive for the average SME to be spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on newspaper, radio & television advertising. So, small businesses stuck to giving out flyers. The only cheapest form of advertising. But now, digital marketing changed the game. We begin to see new businesses sprouting out from nowhere and eating up market shares of huge companies. All these are made possible through digital media. Just by mastering the Google Platform and Facebook changed the game as these 2 are the most used platform in the country and the world. So, how to come onboard these digital platforms? You will need online assets, e.g website, Facebook page, Instagram account, professional email, etc..

So the questions is, do you want to grow your business in 2019?

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How to grow in 2019?

Growing Your Digital Presence In 2019

After seeing so many Ads for the whole of 2018 about why your business should move into digital marketing and why it is a better option. Here in Singapore, not many businesses move into digital marketing yet but a small number of them did. Those who did have seen their sales generally doubled. Some of them are retail outlets located in an inaccessible or “out of the way” places yet customers flocked to their “shop” from all over the country. Some of these retail outlets are in Techparks and Business Parks and you see customers walking in. So, is shopping mall presence necessary? Well, digital marketing changed this.

Those who’ve seen the result, will be looking to spend much more in 2019 to generate higher sales. Those who have not, will soon realise that their competitors have been eating up their market share. This is usually felt by businesses that thrived in the 1990’s till about early 2000’s. We’ve seen many young, new startups crushing their competitors who are running “family-businesses” simply by adopting a highly effective digital marketing strategy. Now in 2019, a lot more needs to be done by the digital marketers to enable their clients to compete on the same level as the key players in the industry.

The answer to a successful 2019 is FULL STACK MARKETING & GROWTH HACKING. It is the combination of the various digital marketing strategies into one full-fledged Ad Campaign. A Facebook Lead Generation Ad alone or a Google Pay Per Click alone can no longer make the cut. Business will need a wholesome digital marketing plan to make it work. All of Google’s Network needs to be utilised with careful planning to ensure Ads effectiveness. To be able to do this, make sure that the marketer is certified with real account management experience. The technicalities of Google Adwords requires someone trained. For Facebook & Instagram Ads, a combination of campaign is required at any one time. On top of this, certain trades should not be using still images anymore. Either adopt a compelling video experience or 3D image. Especially for those in the interior design industry, a 3D Image of a living room does magic for your Ads.

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Is digital marketing really necessary?

With the latest 11.11 and 12.12 sales whereby billions of dollars worth of transactions took place, there’s still business owners who are asking if digital marketing is necessary.

There answer is, yes. So why is it necessary? We’ll, let’s take a look:

  1. With the rise of smartphones and access to video streaming, how many people still watch satellite TV channels? The numbers are really small and this group is made up of largely the older generations.
  2. Social media platforms have taken over the lives of everyone, young and old. People are on Facebook and Instagram 80% of the time in the day. While commuting in trains and buses, people are on Youtube. Everyone is always staring at their screens. Who’s looking at flyers, billboards and posters? There still are but the numbers are really small.
  3. Having in-stream Ads and native Ads, you can control the type of Ad. Video Ads that are compelling will make people click.
  4. The cost of digital marketing is much much cheaper. It is way cheaper compared to print, TV and billboards.

For retail shops, ever wondered how come some shops have so many customers flocking down to their shop even-though the shop location is “off the grid”? Through blogging, social media marketing and google ads, customers can see how great your products are and come over to shop. For retail shops, an e-commerce store is essential. It keeps your customers coming back but online. You’ll have an emptier shop but with sales still flowing in. Isn’t that great!

So, what exactly is digital marketing? We’ll come to that in our next post.

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Consumer Buying Behaviour

Consumer Buying BehaviourSingapore

In conjunction with Black Friday, 11.11, 12.12 and still the ongoing year-end sales, statics and surveys on Singaporean shopping habits or consumer path to buying has been released. On average, 3 out of 5 Singaporeans shop online. Amongst those who does not shop online, 60% of them at least discovered the item that they bought on the internet 1st before heading out to find the item from a local store.

How come such a high number of people in Singapore are shopping online? Well, there’s multiple contributing factors. Let’s run through the list:

  1. Price. With the high cost of living, people do their best to source for the cheapest alternative they can find. Online shop usually offer this alternative as they do not have to pay rent or labour.
  2. Time. Singapore is a place where people come to work and work morning till night. Time is a luxury whereby not many can afford. So, shopping online is great for all. You can do it on your bed before going to sleep.
  3. Transportation. Especially for bulky items, no now wants to lug the item around on the ever-crowded trains and buses. Partly due to personal inconvenience and partly due to not wanting to cause inconvenience to other passengers.

So, are there people who still do not shop online? Well, this group is shrinking  in size say by day. They keep hearing their family and friends buying cheap stuffs online, so they convert into online shoppers. At the same time, they hear their family and friends getting scammed online, so they stay put. This group are usually the late-technology adopters. They are generally the older generation or they are people who really need to see, touch and feel before buying.

Sometime last week, there’s news about a group of retailers in Punggol going onboard the giant E-Commerce platforms. This speaks volumes on the need for e-commerce or digital asset for retailers.

As the world moves into a customer-centric model, e-commerce stores with chatbots, efficient websites and fast delivery are the ones who will thrive.