Twelve passengers taken off jetliner

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) – Dutch F-16s escorted a Northwest Airlines flight bound for India back to an airport here Wednesday after the pilot radioed for help, and police arrested 12 passengers who had aroused suspicions, authorities said. Police spokesman Rob Staenacker said he could not disclose their nationalities or the nature of the suspicions against them, only that “12 people have been arrested.” An American passenger, who identified herself only as Alpa, told AP Television News she saw about a dozen people taken off the plane in handcuffs. While Flight NO0042 to Bombay was over German airspace shortly after takeoff, the pilot radioed for permission to return to Schiphol Airport and asked for an escort of jet fighters because some of the passengers were acting suspiciously, the Defense Ministry said. “A number of them behaved, in the opinion of the crew, in a suspicious manner,” said the ministry. “As a result, the captain asked to return to Schiphol.” A U.S. government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, said crew members and air marshals observed the passengers trying to use cell phones and passing them among themselves while the airliner was taking off. “It was behavior that average passengers wouldn’t do,” the official said. The DC-10 was escorted back to Schiphol by two F-16s scrambled from a northern military airfield, the Defense Ministry said. Routine security measures were swiftly put into place. The plane was carrying 149 passengers, when it turned around after crossing the German border. A Northwest DC-10 has a normal seating capacity of 273. The Dutch National Terrorism Coordinator’s Office was informed, but said there was no reason to raise the national threat level, spokeswoman Judith Sluiter said. The flight was canceled until Thursday, and the passengers were put up in hotels, Northwest said. “It is the same as it was before – light threat,” said Sluiter. Like airports around the world, Schiphol raised the level of security two weeks ago when British police announced they had uncovered a plot to blow up several U.S.-bound commercial jetliners, but Kuypers said threat levels had returned to normal. Several alerts have been sounded since the terrorism plot was outlined in London. On Friday, a British plane made an emergency landing in southern Italy after a bomb scare, and the U.S. Air Force scrambled jets to escort a United Airlines flight from London to Washington as it was diverted to Boston. Wednesday’s security alert was the first at Amsterdam’s international airport since September, when a British Airways flight returned in similar circumstances. It turned out to be a false alarm.last_img read more

Photo of the Week: Snow Goose at Belle Isle State Park

first_imgRare Snow GooseWhile I’ve been thrilled each time I’ve seen a Snow Goose over the past three years (they’re rare birds in southeast Michigan, often seen as they migrate south), this weekend was the first time I’ve seen one that wasn’t several hundred feet away!Feeding with a flock of Canada Geese, the gorgeous white Snow Goose with black-tipped wings was spotted by birders this weekend on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit, Michigan. I found it today on Belle Isle, as it calmly ate its way across the grass and flooded areas with about 100 Canada Geese.Isn’t it a striking bird with that pink bill and legs? Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedPhoto of the Week: Alpheus Starkey Williams Statue at Belle Isle State ParkWhile spring officially started on March 20, almost two weeks ago, you wouldn’t know it by the weather in southeast Michigan this weekend. Last night’s cold front brought frigid temperatures and snow flurries, which left a dusting of snow over everything. Including the Alpheus Starkey Williams statue in the middle…In “Detroit”Photo of the Week: Baltimore Oriole at Belle Isle Nature ZooWhile everyone else I knew was fast asleep on an early Sunday morning, I was up at 5:45am to head out the door for a morning of birdwatching at Belle Isle State Park in Detroit, Michigan. I joined 13 other birders (people who watch birds) in peering through my binoculars at…In “Nature”Photo of the Week: Swans on the Detroit RiverYesterday was my first time visiting Dingell Park, part of the Downriver Delta Greenway along the Detroit River in Ecorse, Michigan. It was an unexpected pleasure to see so many waterbirds at the park! Earlier in the day, I had read on ebird that another birder reported seeing over 60…In “Michigan”last_img read more

Driving a new vision for Africa

first_imgYoungsters from organisations likeBrightest Young Minds, One YoungWorld and the African LeadershipAcademy took part in a paneldiscussion on their vision for Africa.(Image: Ray Maota)MEDIA CONTACTS• Brand Africa+27 11 463 5091• Brand South Africa+27 11 483 0122Nicky Rehbock and Ray Maota  The 2011 Brand Africa Forum, sponsored by Brand South Africa and Brand Leadership Academy, saw an impressive range of pan-African, diasporan and global thought leaders, influencers and decision-makers coming together to debate how Africa can drive its growth, reputation and competitiveness.The event was held on 29 September at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg and attracted more than 300 government, business and civil society representatives.Special focus areas included the role of the nation brand in economic development, governance and sustainability on the continent, economic lessons for Africa and the role of business in driving progress.The significance of South Africa joining Brazil, Russia, India and China in the BRICS bloc was explored, along with lessons to be learnt from emerging markets.The forum shone the spotlight on youth and their vision for the continent by including a panel of young leaders from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Senegal.The inaugural Brand 100 Awards for Africa also took place at the forum.In the opening address, Brand South Africa chairperson Anitha Soni challenged African nations to cooperate in developing strong country brands to improve the continent’s global competitiveness, adding that this would require better cooperation and information-sharing among countries on the continent.“For us, Brand South Africa’s involvement in the Brand Africa Forum is a natural fit because the health of Africa’s brand is important for the strength and health of our own nation brand,” said Brand SA CEO Miller Matola.“If countries on the continent improve in terms of their image and reputation, the same holds for South Africa. Our prosperity is inextricably linked to that of the other countries on the continent,” he said.Nation branding: we must walk the talk“National branding is not about slogans, it is about what you do and what they think, that matters. If one does not change the negative perceptions they will become realities. In Africa we are good at talking and planning, but weak in implementing. We must walk the talk,” said Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr Arthur Mutambara.“A brand must transcend political affiliations and should not be the sole property of a set political party … it must be taken personally because we will never be respected as Africans unless Africa has done well as a continent. This applies to individual countries as well,” he added.Telling it like it isGlobal economist Dr Dambisa Moyo spoke frankly about the current economic crisis, the sovereign debt crisis extending beyond Europe, and Africa’s place in the global picture.“We could be in for a 10-year bear market and recessionary environment. Where does Africa fit into this?” she asked. “We’re facing a very serious problem … there are simply not enough resources to go around.”Moyo said in the coming years the world will increasingly struggle due to a shortage of arable land, energy constraints and a lack of food security, compounded by a lack of water.“This is particularly in the context of the famine that’s going on in the Horn of Africa,” she added.“There are about 1-billion people in the world who go hungry every day – and the majority of them are on this continent. And yet, Africa has the largest amount of untilled land left on the planet.”As an economist, Moyo sees this in terms of supply and demand: “We’ve got hungry people, and we’ve got land.”When there’s a food crisis in Africa, the first response of NGOs is often to “provide a so-called band aid solution, sending bags of maize to Somalia or Ethiopia immediately”.Moyo said she doesn’t find this objectionable, but as an economist, she believes it presents a structural problem.“We’ve got to get to the root cause: why is it that Africa, in the last 30 years, has been the only continent that has failed to feed itself – especially in light of the fact that we have the most untilled land?”But there is some good news, she added: “In a future world of 9-billion people, in a world where we know there are going to be supply constraints in commodities and resources, Africa has an important role to play.“But before we can actually get to a point where we are producing food and coming up with innovative ways to develop, we need to deal with Brand Africa.”Moyo said Africans had to proactively discuss and respond to its important role in the future of the world.“Without us getting our heads around this, it’s all just wonderful conversation – but it’s not going to help us in the long term.”Addressing forum delegates, Moyo concluded: “I urge you in your discussions today – and when you return to your respective businesses – to really focus on where the world is going, and to also focus on Africa and its very important role in the future.“The winners in the decades to come will be the people who look to Africa as a place of business opportunity and a place for partnerships – not as a place that is a drag on the world economy.”What should Africa do to be a powerful continent?Malik Fal, MD of Endeavour spoke about the Africa 2.0: Kenya Report. Endeavour is a New-York based NGO dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship in emerging markets.The report is a manifesto of the envisioned economic and political transition Africa should take if it is to rightfully claim its spot as a powerful continent.Fal said: “The manifesto is the collective effort of young Africans’ views about what Africa should do to be a powerful continent.”Fal added that Africa was in danger of developing presidential monarchies, with leaders favouring their children to become future presidents. He said this was the same as a dictatorship.The report, which comes out in October 2011, will have four main themes: uplifting Africans; creating and sharing African wealth; upgrading Africa’s infrastructure and creating a stable environment for growth.Seeing Africa through the eyes of youngstersCedric Ntumba, an executive at Capitalworks Investment Partners, led a panel of youngsters in discussing their vision of Africa in the future and how their goals could be achieved.The panel included Gertrude Kitongo of Kenya and Ralph Baumgarten of South Africa – both from Brightest Young Minds organisation; Zamatungwa Khumalo and Erik de Ridder – both of South Africa from the One Young World organisation; and Francis Ekii of Uganda and Linda Rebeiz of Senegal – from the African Leadership Academy.Ntumba asked the panel what should be done to inspire African youngsters.“Youngsters should be forward-thinking and their thoughts should sketch a positive future,” Baumgarten said.De Ridder added that for the youngsters of Africa to be inspired, countries should have a human-centred approach to development and that young people should take ownership of the fact that they are the future.Ekii said: “Youngsters should be proactive and not reactive to their situations.”He cited an example of how, when he was just 13 years old, he and a few friends from his hometown in Uganda took it upon themselves to talk openly about HIV in the community.When Khumalo was asked how youngsters from other continents welcomed African youth, she said: “Youngsters from other parts of the world have a warped sense of Africa and African youngsters are more receptive to the outside world than their counterparts.”BRICS and the role of AfricaA panel discussion on South Africa’s role in the BRICS grouping of nations was chaired by Abdullah Verachia, director of Frontier Advisory.The panel included Ajai Chowdry, chair of HCL in India; Dr Vijay Mahajan, author of Africa Rising; Dr MG Vaidyan, CEO of the State Bank of India in South Africa; James Mwangi, global managing partner at Dalberg and Christine Jiang, from Huawei Technologies.Chowdry said that for Africa to protect itself from the effects of the looming economic crisis, it had to indirectly help Europe by keeping its domestic consumption growing.He said South Africa would play a direct role with its involvement in BRICS as the bloc would probably contribute money as a group to the International Monetary Fund.Dr Vaidyan said: “India understood early on like China that population size is not a burden but an asset, and an asset should be maintained.”Vaidyan said that although India had a large population; it had 18 000 colleges, 350 universities and 1-million schools to provide education to its citizens.“The country also recognised that for urban India to progress, rural India has to be developed, that is why at least 40% of the loans we give are to small-scale farmers. South Africa needs to follow that route if it is to be a major player in the BRICS grouping,” said Dr Vaidyan.Mahajan said Africa’s greatest challenge was its migrants overseas who talked negatively about their native countries, creating a warped view of the continent. Africa should make sure its “ambassadors” in foreign countries celebrated Africa, he added.Speaking about competition between companies in the BRICS grouping, Mahajan said: “Africa should not just roll out the red carpet for companies from the BRIC grouping to invest in the respective countries on the continent, but should advocate for African companies to also invest in those markets.”Brand Africa 100 awardsThe inaugural Brand Africa 100 awards also took place during forum, giving credit to the continent’s most valued brands as voted for by pan-African consumers.Research methodology for the awards was developed by the Brand Leadership Academy in partnership with TNS, a globally respected consumer knowledge and information company, and Brand Finance – the world’s leading independent valuation consultancy.“One of the primary drivers of Africa’s growth lies in stimulating and growing thriving African and global businesses and brands in Africa,” said Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and chairperson of Brand Africa.Ikalafeng added that consumers were the ultimate arbiters of a brand’s success and that the awards would show which brands are getting it right on the continent.The award sector categories included food, beverages, electronics, telecoms, automotive, apparel, banks, oil and gas, retail and personal care.Credit was also given to the most valued non-African brand, the most valued brand in Africa and the Grand Prix award for the most valued African brand overall.The winning brands were:•    Food – McDonalds•    Beverages – Coca-Cola•    Electronics – Samsung•    Telecoms – MTN•    Automotive – Toyota•    Apparel – Nike•    Banks – Absa•    Oil and gas – Shell•    Retail – Blue Band•    Personal Care – NiveaThe most valued non-African brand went to Shell, while MTN was voted the most valued brand in Africa and took the Grand Prix award.last_img read more

Is GitHub Selling Out or Moving Up?

first_imgAfter years of adamantly flying solo, one of the industry’s most prominent and successful bootstrappers just took $100 million from a prominent venture capital firm. Why did GitHub do it, and is the company abandoning its principles or making a smart move for future growth?Abandoning BootstrappingSocial coding site GitHub was the poster child for the bootstrapping movement, and it was proud to be fighting the system. One of its founders even passed up $300K and a steady job at Microsoft to start the project. Within a year, the company (which bills its code-sharing platform as “Wikipedia for developers”), had made itself the leader in collaborative development, with a growing staff and a profitable ledger. After a few early stumbles, GitHub has remained securely in the black and continued to build, so the announcement that GitHub was seeking financing from Andreessen Horowitz came as a bit of a shock. Unlike Yammer, which had a good product but faced a crowded market, GitHub really didn’t need the money to continue its climb. So why would a successful company with no one on its tail take the money now, when everything was already rolling just right?GitHub’s official blog post put it this way: “Because we want to be better” and “the resources of Andreessen Horowitz can help us do that.”“ That’s a bit vague (“Who doesn’t,” and “Duh,” respectively). In the end, the deal boiled down to “fit,” which GitHub mentioned, and “a whole lot of money,” which it didn’t.The FitMarc Andreessen is not Henry Kravis. He’s as concerned as anyone with turning a profit and justifying valuations. But at heart, he remains an open-source geek who wants to build things. To that end, he’s invested in enterprise technology companies that play in the same sandbox as his own development efforts. It’s easy to see GitHub sitting alongside other Andreessen Horowitz businesses such as snapLogic and Science Exchange (both of which attempt to manage crowd-sourced components in their own ways). And it’s a pretty good guess that Andreessen already uses GitHub.Since GitHub is already profitable, Andreesen won’t have to try to fix anything, and GitHub won’t have to worry that he’ll try. His presence on the board will likely be focused on guiding GitHub’s growth efforts, and as VCs go, Andreessen is a pretty sympathetic heavy. He also brings a lot of experience to the table, particularly in the realm of partnerships.The Money$100 Million is an awful lot of money – probably enough to fund GitHub’s current staff for a decade. It will certainly help the company branch out into more innovative businesses. But even if GitHub squanders every penny, it has successfully placed a $750 million price tag on the business. Andreessen will sit on the board, but that’s hardly a bad thing to a company whose founders clearly idolize the man. The founders retain control, and they’ve gained a very strong voice with a vested interest in keeping that valuation high in future rounds of funding.So in the end, it’s the best of both worlds. GitHub didn’t sell out, but some day, if and when the founders decide to, they’ll be able to do it in style.Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#hack#Venture Funding How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac…center_img cormac foster Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Smart Homes Get Smarter as Utilities Join In

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#home#Internet of Things#web Related Posts john paul titlow The move toward smart homes that are intensively networked and microprocessor-controlled got a small but important push in the U.K. last week. British Gas, one of the country’s biggest gas suppliers, announced a partnership with AlertMe, a startup that specializes in remote home monitoring and energy management. AlertMe and its competitors offer customers a way to manage their home’s energy consumption on the Web or from smartphone and tablet apps. The need to more effectively manage energy consumption is growing, and networked technology is uniquely equipped to help. AlertMe is partnering exclusively with British Gas for its Remote Heating Control service, which will be available to all of the utility company’s 10 million customers. The new arrangement demonstrates that the smart home concept is spreading beyond forward-thinking startups and catching on with utility companies. For consumers, the most compelling advantage of this type of technology is the cost savings. Under the old system, homes were cooled and warmed inefficiently and at improper times, leading to wasted energy and money. Automated systems like those offered by AlertMe, Control4 and smart thermostat manufacturers like Nest allow residents to schedule their temperature-control regimen in advance or do so automatically based on their past habits. This has an immediate impact on home energy bills. If adopted on a large scale, it could have a broader environmental impact. Utility companies and tech startups aren’t the only ones diving head-first into this space. Tech giants are getting in on the action as well. Google aims to weave Internet connectivity into a variety of household appliances with its Android@Home initiative. Meanwhile, Comcast’s XFinity Home initiative is a partnership with Verizon to offer home automation services.  AlertMe’s solution is geared toward U.K. customers for now, but the company says it plans to launch a similar offering in the United States soon. center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Get Your Email Address for, Microsoft’s New Hotmail Killer

first_imgjon mitchell Tags:#Microsoft#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market mail reduces clicks in small ways, displaying convenient delete and mark-as-read buttons alongside as you mouse over each message, so you can execute these actions instantly without having to click a check box first. It lets you choose your preferred keyboard shortcuts; if you’re not used to Outlook shortcuts, you can switch to Gmail or Yahoo! Mail shortcuts.Outlook mail also has easy tools for cleaning up so-called “graymail,” the coupons and newsletters we’re constantly getting but may not always want. You can schedule regular cleanups of old robo-emails while keeping the latest one in your inbox.So what will happen to Hotmail, Microsoft’s long-lived webmail service? It will remain as it is for now, but not forever. “This is a preview,” Mehta says of mail. Microsoft will merge its two webmail services “at some point,” but for now, it will run the two in tandem.Go to to join the preview. You can upgrade your existing Windows Live or Hotmail account, or you can create a new user name. Hotmail’s days are numbered with Microsoft’s announcement of an all-new cloud-based email service at Tuesday. It ties into SkyDrive, so you have 7GB of free space, and it can open attachments right inside new Web apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Its built-in Outlook chat connects to Facebook messages, and it will integrate Skype calls later this year. mail was designed to snag Gmail users first and foremost, according to Dharmesh Mehta, Microsoft’s director for Windows Live product management. Unlike Google’s email service, doesn’t personalize its ads by looking at your email content. More generic Bing ads are displayed in the right-hand sidebar of the inbox, but not in a conversation view. When you’re viewing an email thread, the sidebar shows the sender’s photo and recent Facebook and Twitter activity, which you can respond to right in line. It’s like Microsoft built in a simplified version of Rapportive.Outlook’s address book connects to Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, LinkedIn and other services, so contact info will update automatically when friends change their profiles. mail does some handy tricks with attachments. Attached photos appear in recipients’ inbox as nicely formatted Web-based previews instead of a deluge of large files. Click on them and they open in the browser. And email messages can show SkyDrive and Flickr album slideshows.Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, which people constantly email back and forth, upload to SkyDrive and can be edited in the browser – just like Google Docs, but without the need to convert the files.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

E-Commerce Failures and Mistakes: Why do so Many Startups Fail?

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … I’m sure you are aware of the alarming rate at which E-commerce businesses shut down. If not, let me share with you the results of recent research about E-Commerce Startups. “90% of the E-Commerce Startups fail within their initial four years.” Are the reasons for startup failure the same as they’ve always been? Why do so many startups fail?The idea of online shopping excites today’s generation as much as purchases have in all generations.There is no denying the fact that the people today have become more price-conscious. They have much more marketing-savvy, and a brand-loyal that hasn’t been seen for a long time. Definitely not a positive sign for an aspiring entrepreneurs looking to venture into the e-Commerce business.E-Commerce Business Stats: The reality check.90% of the E-commerce startups fail within their first year.Of the remaining, 36% of E-commerce startups fail in their second year.Of the remaining, 44% of E-commerce startups fail in their third year.Of the remaining 50% of E-commerce, startups fail in their fourth year.Disappointing, right?There’s a lot you can learn from established businesses and successful entrepreneurship stories. Keep in mind that there’s lot more to learn from failure stories. Failures give you a concrete insight into what to avoid, and project options to try instead. I’ve done some research and digging for you to know the common (and avoidable) mistakes.E-commerce startups tend to make many errors in their initial years.Collect a checklist of what NOT to do — and scale your business among the selective 10% of successful e-commerce stores. Success stories is not churning out of random articles but the result of deep digging and through analysis. Consider each point as a gold coin and save them in your pandora box of ‘E-Commerce Entrepreneurship Wisdom.’Common mistakes e-commerce startups make — strategies to try instead.Below are the mistakes that have cost aspiring entrepreneurs a huge amount of money. Most startups also lose a decade of prime life years as well. And there really are dos and don’ts for an e-commerce business. Many of the startups are still making the same mistakes.What does it really takes to have a successful eCommerce store.Top Seven E-Commerce Mistakes to avoidE-Commerce1. Are you selling the wrong product? The most important thing to consider when launching an E-commerce business is the product, and it’s the biggest reasons startups fail. If you are selling products that are outdated or years ahead of their time, who do you think will purchase them? By choosing a wrong product category, you’ve already landed in a tough position to begin from.Here’s what to do instead:Make sure your online buyers or target audience is interested in the product you are selling. Find the right product category that is useful for both your custom and lookalike audiences.Ask yourself these questions:What should I sell to meet the demands of buyers?How should I add value to my product?How do I place my product correctly to have a value proposition?2. Are your product photos and description good enough?You’ve chosen a great product to sell online. You are sure it will hit the market as soon as people know about its availability and great features. You’ve done the target audience analysis and you are good to go. What if the product listing on your e-commerce store is inclusive of low-resolution, grainy photo and poorly written description?Look at your product photo and description. Does the photo look like something taken on a mobile phone from 2000? Does the description look as if it was written by a five-year-old? Fix these two points or you’ll never be able to convert your visitors into buyers.Here’s what to do:Never forget, it’s the visuals that appeal the online buyers first. Second will be the neatly-written understandable content. There is no excuse for poor photos nor excuse for poor English.Take good product photos that surpasses high-resolution with no glare or glitches (or get them done by a professional).Make sure your product description is catchy, to the point, and describes the item in a way it resonates with the buyers.Choose simplicity over flowery language.3. Is your E-commerce Store design lousy?Again, it’s the visuals that impress your viewers first. The design and appearance of your website matters a lot. 90% of the times it is the biggest factor that determines whether or not it will be successful. Website design is not all about external appearance, the visuals, and the graphics.Website design, in terms of an E-commerce store, is a broader term. The phrase covers everything about your site including the way it looks and the way it works. Aesthetic but also purely functional and serves the purpose of both visual appeal and easy to use interface.Here’s what to do:Build a strong, visually appealing, fully-functional store that speaks of user-friendliness, brand-authenticity, and great content availability.Add elements that give your store a competitive edge, increase the credibility, enhance the scope for communication, and assure easy navigation.4. Are you wasting your customer’s time?With online shopping, customers definitely get to save a lot of time. But the same phenomenon of ‘shopping from the comfort of home’ has made them more conscious about time wastage. No one likes to spend hours on a site to fill-in unnecessary detail and complete the formalities. Everyone wants to get things done with few clicks and swipe.There are a lot of E-Commerce stores that neglect to make their purchase and checkout process simple for their buyers-to their detriment only. With such a lengthy checkout process, buyers often abandon the cart and switch to another site.Here’s what you should do instead:Make the checkout process plain and straightforward to stop your buyers from dropping out at the last minute.Don’t ask for unnecessary details.Hire checkout trust signals to make it a secure gateway and partner with known payment facilitators because users are always skeptical about new companies.5. Have you aligned your pricing and your marketing ads?The other day, I saw a great deal on a juicer on the Facebook page of an E-commerce store. It was, in the literal sense, a steal. I quickly navigated to the official site for buying the product and found that the shipping charge was almost three times the product cost. Who are such companies kidding?I obviously didn’t buy anything and made a mental note to never buy any product from that seller.This is what a lot of e-commerce businesses are doing today-luring customers with half-informative ads and then disappointing them with hidden prices, which later becomes a top reason for cart abonnement.Here’s what I suggest:Manage your buyer’s expectations by telling them the truth.Make sure not to add any unexpected cost at the last minute.Stop scamming buyers in the name of shipping fee and never play around with their trust.You can add a shipping calculator widget to your store to ensure transparency for buyers.6. Do you have a clear policy?Don’t purchase from a company if they don’t have a clear product policy. As a buyer, I always lookout for an accessible and understandable policy. As a seller, make sure your information is precise and understandable.A lot of new e-commerce businesses have no policy, seeing which customers abandon the cart and shop from someone who has a broad guideline related to the development of a product.Here’s what you can do:Have the policy easily available under each product description on your e-commerce store.Have the policy emailed to the buyers once they’ve purchased with you.The policy should have information that can prevent any legal action against you.7. Are you making the right investment? Of course, the investment. When talking about online business, when can we ever neglect the investment part? If you’ve ventured into this business, you have to have enough money, no matter which product you are selling. Else, your company will cease to exist.Often, e-commerce businesses fail to make the right investment. They either overspend in unnecessary phases of their business and neglect other aspects of marketing.Here’s what to do:Make sure to create a budget about your spending’s-create separate fund sheets about each phase including promotions, marketing, and inventory management.It’s advised to test a small amount of inventory for gauging product demand before buying it in bulk amount.8. Is your content marketing working properly?Do I have to mention how important content marketing is? I know content marketing is clichéd – and I also know clichés become clichés for a reason.Digital marketers and experts around the world say that content SaaS startups should spend an average of 50% resources on strategic content distribution. If you want your product to rank high among the Google search results, you need to follow an appropriate marketing strategy. Every E-commerce startup needs to market their website and its products through different channels.Let’s see what Troop Messenger did to market the office communication application effectively– we wrote articles, blog posts, and created growth hacks around a variety of keywords and user intents to bring it at the first page of Google Search results.Points to be taken.High search volume and low keyword difficulty are crucial to building your content pillars. The same formula applies to high intent keywords for your niche. When people are searching for “Slack alternatives” it means they are already unhappy about Slack. And it’s our job at Troop Messenger to address their pain points in the post and offer them our tool that’s a great Slack alternatives.Here’s what we did:We first created a content marketing mission statement that outlines our target audience and the benefit they’ll get. Our mission statement included our goal of improving revenue, reducing marketing cost, getting more traffic, making more sales, increasing social media engagement and SEO success.Post that, we established our key performer indicators, which included hitting a certain revenue target, getting a certain number of email subscribers, increasing the site traffic, and getting more signups.Then, we spent our resources to assess our current position. We carried out a content audit to assess the usefulness and success of our articles and identified gaps. This way we found which content is widely shared, which piece needs improvements, which ones need to be removed, and what topics interest the readers.Our next step was to find out the best content channels, and identifying the main social networks where our articles and posts had maximum visibility and shares. In our case, most of the activity tool place through guest posts and blogs. We continued researching and refining our strategy for more details.Our final strategy was creating a content calendar where we scheduled all our contents. By using Google Calendar, we put dates for every piece of content and continue publishing quality material from time to time.SummaryDon’t become just another failed entrepreneur. Ask yourself the practical questions, research, analyze, and gain clarity. These new startup mistakes happen very commonly, over and over again. E-commerce stores and their trends change very frequently. Stay updated and always have the curiosity to learn more and find scope for improvement. Mohsin AnsariDigital Marketing Manager at Troop Messenger. Md Mohsin Ansari is a Digital Marketing Manager at Troop Messenger. He is accountable for analyzing the market trends, demographics, and dealing with all promotional and media channels. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Related Posts Follow the Puck Tags:#Ecommerce business ideas#eCommerce marketing last_img read more