Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Introduction To E-Commerce

We have come a long way from the first attempts at e-commerce in the early 1990's, when the web was in its infancy. In fact, many of the e-commerce sites which can be built in a matter of hours now are far more advanced than sites that took months to build just a few years ago.
Creating an e-commerce site has never been simpler than it is now. You can have anything from a simple store setup with manually generated buttons on payment services such as PayPal and Google Checkout all the way to a totally custom design with custom functionality tied into your business model.
There are e-commerce news sites, forums, mailing lists, communities, open source software, proprietary software, out of the box solutions, custom solutions, and basically more information than one person could possibly digest in one lifetime.
With all of the advances made in e-commerce over the past 20 years, many people are more in the dark than ever. There is an overload of information about different software, platforms, SEO, social media, and other topics.
Who should you listen to and how can you possibly make sense out of all of the contradicting ideas out there? This book was written as a guide to help people answer many of these questions and get themselves pointed in the right direction when it comes to e-commerce.
Whenever possible, I will not be addressing particular technologies or software. These change far too often to write anything meaningful about them in any great detail. If I did so, this book would become irrelevant six months from now.
What I will address are tried and true techniques for choosing the appropriate software (whatever it may be), hiring developers, using social media (even as new sites become the 'next big thing'), search engine optimization techniques that are always relevant, and how to convert more sales.
After reading this book you should be able to objectionably compare different e-commerce solutions, know how to hire a competent developer if you need help with your site, how to leverage social media regardless of what new social media outlet pops up, and how to use well written copy along with sound SEO techniques to drive traffic to your site and convert that traffic to sales.
I also encourage you to continue your education in this field. There is no "magic bullet" that will automatically bring you big profits and high conversions in the e-commerce game. You need to constantly stay on top of trending technologies, learn about your customers, assess your competition, and tweak your product lines.
Types of E-Commerce Sites
All e-commerce sites are not selling the same type of product. As such not all e-commerce sites have the same needs and goals. This is not a comprehensive list, and in fact many of the most successful e-commerce sites are the ones that create their own revenue model and niche.
This is your traditional e-commerce site. This is the site that most people think of when they think e-commerce. This type of site deals in the sale of tangible, physical products. A traditional e-commerce site usually is defined by the following features:
A listed of tangible, physical products usually divided into categories and sub categories
A product details page for each product. This page usually contains a description, product specs, an image gallery, and product reviews
A 'shopping cart' that holds a customer's items they want to purchase until they checkout
A checkout process that allows users to enter their billing and shipping information
Tax and/or shipping charges are usually collected at this stage.
The site owner is notified of a purchase and handles fulfillment, either through an automated process or manually.
Virtual Products
The virtual products e-commerce site is very similar to the traditional e-commerce site with one main exception. This type of site deals in the sale of virtual products such as music, images, videos or e-books. This type of site is usually defined by the following features:
1. Listing similar to that of a traditional e-commerce site
2. Shopping cart and checkout process are also similar
3. Checkout usually does not include shipping or tax charges as there are no tangible goods being shipped
4. Fulfillment is automatic with the customer usually being emailed a link to download the virtual item.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Who Benefits From a Skilled Nursing Facility

A skilled nursing facility can provide individuals with the help they need to get back on track. Often, family members cannot provide the type of expert aid that their loved one needs. They need more specific or ongoing care. These are times when such a location can be the ideal choice. If you are unsure what your loved one needs, schedule some time to visit such a location. What you will find is that this type of location can give your loved one the type of care he or she needs to live the quality of life deserved.
Long Term Needs
One of the main reasons for investing in a skilled nursing facility is because these locations can provide for the long-term needs of the individual. Some residents are unstable. They have a chronic condition that keeps them from living an independent lifestyle. They need substantial daily assistance to live a quality life. This can be found in this type of organization.
Short Term Care
Another instance in which it may be necessary for this type of service is when there is a short-term need, but the amount of assistance necessary is significant. Those who are receiving any type of rehabilitation, for example, may need such a location to help them to get back to living their life. For example, those who need nursing care while they heal or need therapy to get back on their feet will benefit from this type of setup. This includes those suffering from acute diseases as well as injuries or surgeries. If you plan to go home but need physical or occupational help first, this is the place to get it. Even language and speech options are available.
There are some conditions too difficult to deal with at home. For those with long term or short term needs for people who are suffering from dementia, it is critical to obtain the proper type of education. These facilities can offer help for those who are at risk of wandering or becoming confused easily. Be sure to look for a specific location that is able to help individuals to deal with this specific type of concern since it is such a trying time for all who are involved.
Take into consideration the needs of your loved one. When there are needs you may not be able to meet, it is time to start thinking about a skilled nursing facility. The good news is that people can feel at home and happy in such a setting. If they are given the right type of help, they can be successful there.