Shopify Offering Startup Loans to Merchants – No Sales or Credit Checks Required Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 23 reviews
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Shopify Offering Startup Loans to Merchants – No Sales or Credit Checks Required

Business Advice, E-Commerce, What's New No Comment

Shopify is looking to spur entrepreneurship and boost its merchant count by removing a fundamental barrier to launching a business: startup capital.

The Ottawa-based e-commerce giant announced an expansion of its Shopify Capital program Tuesday that will see the company provide initial loans of $200 to qualifying applicants looking to test out entrepreneurship.

In its most recent earnings report last fall, Shopify highlighted how its existing Shopify Capital program issued $141 million in merchant cash advances and loans in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 85 per cent year-over-year. Until now, the program’s financing terms have typically been tied to a business’s sales history on the platform.

These early-stage loans, on the other hand, can be approved without any sales or a credit check. In a release, the company positioned the idea as an alternative to dipping into savings, borrowing from friends and family or racking up credit card debt.

Kaz Nejatian, vice-president of Shopify’s financial solutions division, wrote on Twitter that the new program was aimed at entrepreneurs struggling to get started with a business idea, such as recently landed immigrants who haven’t built up a financial foundation yet or a founder targeting non-traditional industries.

The move to ease the on-boarding of new users comes amid a broader push to continue growing the number of merchants using Shopify’s platform.

Though the company passed a sizeable milestone with its one-millionth user in 2019, the company’s year-to-year growth in merchant base has showed signs of slowing in recent years. This has pushed Shopify to increase expansion efforts outside its core North American market; CFO Amy Shapero said during the company’s most recent quarterly earnings call that it was seeing its most rapid growth in international markets.

Shopify itself has been having a strong start to 2020 with its shares hitting new highs on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. The firm’s shares on the TSX were trading at $576.25 on Tuesday, an increase of nearly nine per cent since the start of the year.

Source: Ottawa Business Journal

Why Your Company’s Online Reputation Matters

Business Advice No Comment

As a discipline, reputation management is still nascent in the Asia Pacific region. Caught up in the rallying cry to go digital, many brands are eager to appear in search results, but they are comparatively less focused on the realities of what exactly consumers see.

To the extent that some brands in the region do practice reputation management, most relegate it to a single person or department, such as customer service, digital marketing, or human resources. While engaging in any form of reputation management is a good start, it should not be compartmentalized into a specific box on the organizational chart.

Reputation management should be a companywide responsibility that affects several, if not all, external-facing departments. Many founders or C-level executives balk at the idea of committing significant resources to what they might assume is merely a cosmetic benefit. But this stereotype could not be farther from the truth.

satisfaction surveyFirst Impressions Go Digital 

When a stakeholder hears about your brand for the first time—be they a potential customer, employee, partner, or investor—they will almost always Google your company to learn more. What they see in the search results is essentially their first impression, except it’s even weightier than the first impressions we make as businesspeople at meetings, events, or conferences.

Unlike in-person meetings, where you can offset an initially bad first impression as you share more about yourself over the course of a conversation, there are no such opportunities online. Stakeholders who are put off by a negative employee review or a critical feature from a journalist when searching your brand will not give you a chance to explain yourself. They’ll simply click away from your site. Our attention spans online last a couple seconds at most, and you just wasted the few that someone gave you.

A negative or erroneous perception on the internet can stagnate growth and immediately compromise sales and marketing efforts. It can also scare away an investor or cause the perfect candidate to apply to a competitor. Despite the importance of reputation management, the only way for employees to understand its significance is to get it from the top down. Company leaders must communicate the importance of reputation management and operationalize it into a key performance indicator.

Each department should be assigned relevant channels for reputation management. For example, human resources can monitor Glassdoor and LinkedIn; digital marketing can keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter, and Google; and public relations can watch media outlets. The responsible departments must report on their assigned channels. The sharing of such vital information is a constant reminder that everyone must work together to build, improve and protect their brand’s online reputation. A key point to note here is that companies often fail because they don’t consult experts. Imagine a company engaging their HR team to do financial audits without having them trained or monitored by a finance expert. Similarly, it is important to engage digital reputation experts in your strategy development process.

In galvanizing the entire organization to practice reputation management, leaders must emphasize a proactive rather than reactive approach. The latter is all too common, especially in Asia. Brands will only take action around their reputation crisis or when a dissenting view appears online. Only then will they spring to action, summoning whatever resources they can to respond to the critical opinion, bury it amid more positive content, or work to delete the negativity if libelous or otherwise erroneous.

Rather than just responding to online issues as they arise, brands must be proactive, beginning with developing an overall online branding: What is it that they want to be known for? Determining a company’s messaging is just as important for reputation management as it is for public relations or any other communications function. Skipping this step—as many companies do in their rush to respond to dissenting online voices—also leads to poor branding and subsequent performance. Your company will come across as just another entity in a business world eager to uphold appearances rather than an organization responding` from a place of genuine authenticity.

The messaging that you devise for your reputation management should be treated as a living document. Your company should evaluate how its mission, vision, and values are reflected on the internet every quarter, or even more frequently if your company is experiencing rapid growth. Done correctly, proactive reputation management will create an online brand that all of your team members will be proud of. It will also mobilize your community of employees, clients, partners, and other stakeholders to further support the success of your company.



5 Effective Facebook Ads Targeting Strategies

Business Advice, E-Commerce No Comment

Facebook Ads have become a powerful tool for eCommerce websites. Many eCommerce and dropshipping stores use Facebook Ads to get hundreds to thousands of leads and sales. However, using Facebook Ads can either a HIT or a MISS. You can hit the jackpot by successfully targeting the right people, or you can make your ad go to waste by not utilizing it properly to hit your target audience.

Many times, beginners in Facebook Ads (including myself!) often fail at the first try. Facebook Ads is not complicated science, it is easy to master and understand once you know what to look for to effectively target your market. Below are some of the most powerful Facebook Ads targeting strategies that you can use to bring your ‘A’ Game.

Facebook Ads Targeting StrategiesLead Generation

Facebook’s Lead Generation is all about utilizing the average time that a consumer spends on the platform, through multiple mobile devices. Since most of the hits come from mobile itself, the process eliminates the idea of visiting your company or business website for a potential purchase of products and services.

With the help of lead advertisements, you can select from a wide range of targeting options for creating a lead form and thereby generate leads for your business. Such lead advertisements will help you acquire all kinds of information from various consumers who are interested in your product and services, and such information can also be used to generate new audiences as well.

Abandoned Carts

Abandoned Carts is a targeting process in which your target users abandon their shopping carts on your website. Such consumers take out time out of their extremely busy schedules to provide you with such information.

Carts may be abandoned due to reasons like customers looking for better deals, coupons, reviews and so on. Such a technology can be used to retarget the customers the next time when they visit their Facebook timeline or feed. Such a practice can also be termed as dynamic marketing and it’s indeed extremely effective.

Cold Traffic

Cold Traffic is defined by the consumers who have never heard about your business or brand and are thereby unfamiliar or have no idea what to do with such products or services. When on Facebook you’re trying to target cold traffic – it means that you’re trying to rope in the lookalike audience with the help of targeting advertisements via interests. In simple words, any targeting that involves customers other than your main audience is known as cold traffic.

There’s no such trust or relationship that you’ve established with such an audience, which makes them extremely interesting to sell as well.

Incorporate Messenger ads

facebook messenger ads


Facebook Messenger Ads are not just any simple ads on Facebook. Messenger Ads can be defined as the method through which you can instantly connect with the customers you like or want. Such a process allows users who see your ads to directly initiate a conversation with your business, at the click of a button.

Such a procedure can be easily implemented by the use of Sponsored Posts or Destination Ads. For one, in Destination Ads where normal advertisements are run with the addition of ‘Send a Message’ instead of ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Buy Now’. When users will click on ‘Send a Message’, they will be redirected towards the FB Messenger with extra action buttons like ‘Get A Quote’ or ‘Get Help’.

Evergreen Facebook Ads

Evergreen Facebook Ads can be defined as a type of advertisement which allows a certain ad to run continuously, irrespective of the consequences. Such advertisements tend to run several weeks, months and even years.

Companies use their best selling products or services to always perform such an evergreen advertisement in the background and then alternate such action by doing live or new launches a couple of times a year. Such an alternate strategy can be used when campaigning for old products as well as newly launched products.


Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]

5 Ways Mobile Apps Can Increase Revenue for Your Business

Business Advice No Comment

The use and benefits of mobile phones cannot be ignored or denied. They undoubtedly form an integral part of our life and existence without them can seem to be daunting. For carrying out many of our day to day tasks, we rely on our mobile phones and mobile apps – be it ordering food, shopping, calling a cab, booking a flight ticket, filling forms and what not!

So don’t you think if you own a business, owning a mobile app can lead your business to a greater heights?

Talking about the various businesses- going digital can make them great money. Many startup owners are often skeptical about getting their own website and their mobile application developed, they often ask why? Well, the answer is quite simple, it will yield business and profit!

  1. Opt for paid apps

As the title clearly suggests, bring forward the paid applications i.e., the users download the app by making a minimal payment and then end up using your services or products.

Do not charge too much as this will drive away your clients. Therefore, decide the fee smartly.

  1. Freemium apps

Freemium apps are undoubtedly one of the best ways to generate revenue from your mobile application. It simply means to introduce applications that are free of cost- but some features are paid. In this way, the users will pay for those additional features as well if needed.

One similar app is- Grammarly. It allows you to freely access some of its features whereas the enhanced ones are paid.

  1. Localization

This feature directly relates to the term “user-friendliness “. The interface of your app should be easy to understand and comprehend by people across the world.

This can be achieved by supporting multiple languages so that communication won’t stop you from generating good revenue and a fancy client base.

  1. Make use of push notifications

We know that today’s market hosts great competition in terms of all the services and products. For a particular service/ product- multiple options, prices, providers are available.

Making use of the push notifications- helps you to drive the potential buyers to your mobile apps through alerts that remind them of the purchase, new products/ services.

  1. Integration of ASO updates

Now, does only building the mobile application does all the miracle? The answer is clearly a No. Updates are another feature that needs to be looked upon.

This means that your app should be flexible enough to accommodate any update done by Google or Bing.  Moreover, it should be platform friendly and must be able to run on all the possible platforms.

So, next time you think of having a start-up, don’t forget to get a mobile application developed. And if you want to generate a fancy revenue from the same, do ponder upon the above points.


What Makes The Best Business Cards?

Business Advice No Comment

Entrepreneurs must always have their own business cards as they are extremely important for networking purposes and public relations. If you come across someone who is interested in your work, you can simply hand them your business card and ask them to contact you. Given below are some tips by four entrepreneurs on how to get the best business cards.


  • Katie White, founder of re:lax

Katie White is a holistic therapist and she helps her patients deal with stress, anxiety, digestive problems and hormonal imbalances using natural remedies and proper nutrition. She wanted her business cards to reflect her approach to therapy and healing methods. She wanted the “logo and name to be the most eye-catching feature and the reason a potential client picks it up – because they want to relax and feel good.”

This is extremely important because the design of the cards should not only be appropriate for the type of business you are in but should also be appealing to your target audience.

  • Michael, founder of

This website allows people to find licensed online casinos that will suit their specific needs. Now, Michael had some really creative business cards (which looked like casino playing cards) printed. According to him, “in most industries there are a lot of expos and events where literally 1000s of traditional, basic business cards are handed out and just end up sitting in someone’s wallet, never to be seen again.”

A creative touch to your business cards will immediately interest potential clients. You can add embossing, foil accents or even go for something like metallic ink or spot UV.

  • Charlie Spokes, founder of My Friend Charlie

Charlie’s company organises dating events for middle aged London residents. Londoners in their 30s and 40s can meet and get to know each other at various fun events like paddle boarding and gin tasting! For their business cards, Charlie wanted a good quality card that had “a classic logo and colour scheme which had to be easy to read but also eye catching”.

Now, if you want a simple, basic business card then you need to make sure to follow some basic rules of designing. These include keeping the key copy about 5mm away from the trim edge, properly sized font and good quality images (for your logo).

  • Tom Bourlet, search and paid media manager for the Spaghetti Traveller

This is a fun blog that combines travelling and marketing. Now, Tom wanted his business cards to represent the vibe that his blog creates. But while the cards are quite quirky and creative, the designs do not overshadow the information provided and as Tom explains it, “the key information is highlighted first, with the email being my main point of contact, followed by my Twitter account.” Therefore, as this suggests, when you have your business cards printed, you will have to prioritize and decide which details are necessary and will be of use to potential clients.

What do you think makes the best business cards?



Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Best PPC Practices in 2019

Business Advice No Comment

PPC or pay-per- click has emerged to be one of the most popular advertising models in the recent years. It draws traffic to your website and whenever an ad is clicked by any user, the advertiser has to pay the person who published the ad.

PPC practice was opted by many website owners last year so that they could improve the performance of their website. Well, with a new year you need to upgrade your game.

Following are some of the latest and the best PPC practices which will rule 2019 and can help you to excel on the performance bar-

  • There will be more focus on audience rather than the keywords

Digital marketing has been a champion of keywords since forever. But, in the 2019 this is supposed to take a back seat, and strategies targeting audience will be adopted. This will enable you to get your ads in front of the right audience and while they are actively searching a product which you are selling.

  • Incorporation of new features in ads

All the PPC marketers from around the world will be establishing some extra-ordinary advertisements. These ads will definitely attract more clients and audience. So, take clue from these ads and apply same concept for your website.

  • Automation rate will increase

In 2018, Google already started to display ads suitable for all kinds of audience, thanks to automation. This phenomena will take a hike in 2019 as well. Be smart, and adopt some great automation strategies for your website. For this, you can start with implementing the accurate conversion tracking, identifying your loyal audience, figure your keywords, and write great ads as well.

  • Try to know your whole funnel of marketing

Invest time in building a meaningful attribution model for your website. This will help you to focus on the marketing strategy on the channels which really matter for you. Once you have a good multi-touch attribution model, only low-funnel based marketing channels will deliver the result.

  • If possible, invest as much as you can in video marketing

Videos are supposed to take the center stage in PPC advertising model in 2019. Video is a very powerful tool which you can use to draw a massive traffic for your website. Creating ads using video takes up a lot more time and creativity than in putting up a text-based ad or depending on Google to auto-create ads, for you to display. But, all the hard work is worth it. It will be worth because, if you look at the statistics, the rate of video ad completion reached to 60-70% last year. So, investing in video advertising is must and this feature will rule the PPC practices in 2019.

Lastly, one of the latest PPC practices, whose usage started last year only is re-running similar ads, content again and again. This helps to convert the visitors of your website to potential customers. So, 2019 will be about revamping the re-marketing tactic.

Thus, you can be sure on one thing that above mentioned 6 practices are going to rule the PPC field in digital world this year

Best Digital Marketing Practices in 2019

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Adopting the right digital marketing practices and digital marketing strategies are very important in order to get visible results. As there is evolution in technology, there needs to be some changes in the marketing strategy as well to keep up with the flow and be successful as a marketer.

There are some important trends to utilize in your digital marketing to make it work. They include:

Data-supported marketing

This kind of marketing is evolving almost every single day as the different tools are also evolving. The use of the right tools and collating the right kind of data and utilizing it in the right form might be a very useful method to know more about the audience and make improvements and provide tactics for future campaigns. It can be used to improve the customer experience and personalize the services.


Videos are supposedly an age-old method of digital marketing which sees no downfall. Video contents are very engaging for the audience. However, you need to figure out the best types of videos that can help to keep the audience intrigued to the website of the content.

Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality

Both AI and AR are very useful which has created an upsurge in the marketing tactics. A lot of marketers have already incorporated these in their marketing tactics. You will be amazed to realize that there is quite a huge number of customers who are ready to share their personalized data in turn of a better experience. Augmented reality can be included to bring about a drastic change in the customer experience.

Conversational content with voice technology

Conversational content is a hyped technology these days among the customers. Here it is not enough to make use of jargons and keywords. There has to be some really strong content to keep the customers glued to the website.

Omni-channel marketing

This is a strategy to communicate with the different businesses via many channels at a time. This can include Facebook, twitter and other kinds of ads.

Social media ads

These are similar to the Omni-channel marketing where different businesses make use of the different platforms to reach out to the maximum number of customers at a time.

Real events and experiences

The real events where a number of people can come together and share their views, clubbed with the digital marketing can prove to do wonders. This is the place where people can share their views and in order influence each-other’s choices in order to aid in the digital marketing for those particular businesses.
As the whole world is getting digitalized these days, digital marketing needs to be improved in every single step so as to meet the increasing demands of the customers and make the most out of the whole thing. SEO content might be of very useful in pushing through the digital marketing strategies and making it a great success in today’s scenario and make businesses flourish.

10 Essential Digital Marketer Skills

Business Advice, E-Commerce No Comment

digital marketer 2019

The world of digital marketing is huge and highly competitive in today’s time. It is difficult for all the naive faces who set their foot in this industry, to find their niche. Don’t you guys worry as the following content will help you to understand the essential digital marketer skills!

Should be able to multitask

If we talk about the digital marketing world, then you all must be aware that there are numerous things going on at once. To be able to keep an eye on each one of them, you need to be attentive and should be able to multitask. You may have to read the latest content, see the relevant texts on the social media platforms, do reports, all at the same time.

Curiosity is the key to learn, specifically if you are a beginner

As mentioned before- the span of this field is really wide. If you are keen and curious to learn more then you will really find this field alluring. Craving for knowledge and learning new things on a daily basis will give you your edge among others.

Must have good work ethic

There will be times when you will find yourself in difficult situations like market crashing, unsatisfied clients etc. In such situations, you have to handle the pressure calmly and like a professional.

Must be cordial with colleagues and others in the same field

This field is known for cutthroat competition and people can be difficult to work with, at times. Also, you have to always meet clients, build good relationships with potential customers, etc. For all this, you need to be street smart and good with your communication.

You must know how to search well

The more you try to search for a topic, the better your work turns out to be. So, try to research well while working on a project. You can use the Internet, books, question the client, and know the client’s views and opinions, read other relevant articles.

You should be good with SEO and SEM techniques

Having a thorough knowledge of search engine optimization and search engine marketing are the key tools of this field. So, make sure you have at least the basic idea of these two before you go into this field.

Data Analysis is for your own good

Data analytics is the central strategy of all digital marketing companies. You should try to find and develop good solutions, ideas to judge the needs of your clients and then work towards building the traffic for your website or company.

Be a tech-lover

Digital marketing is all about information technology. So, it is good to have a nice grip on the new technologies. Be a quick learner, so that you can adapt well to the changing world of technology.

Create an audience engaging content

A smart content writer or a person working in this field is the one who knows its audience and their needs. You should be able to produce contents which are top-notch, SEO- friendly. Try to incorporate videos, pictures, flowcharts, etc. to make it .ore sensible and engaging.

Do as much as marketing and ads as possible to promote your work

With digital marketing, it is very easy to promote your work or your company. Right from posting on various social media platforms to paid channels and display of ads, you can do it all. To be popular among the masses, you should be good at selling your work through these tools.

What do you think are the best digital marketer skills to possess?

Are You Still Missing Out on Google Search Console?

Business Advice, E-Commerce, SEO Tips No Comment

Google Search Console

In today’s time, almost every business has its own online portal. Infect some companies run their entire empire via a website only. Well, if you own a website or maintain a company’s website then you must be aware that it is extremely important to assess the website’s performance from time to time.

The performance of any website is measured by the amount of traffic it withdraws. But, how to get this measurement and analysis in the first place. Don’t you guys worry, as Google has provided tools for this work, that too absolutely free of cost- called the Google Search Console.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google. It helps the owners of the various websites to easily keep record of their work, and track the performance at the same time.

It assists you to monitor your website and get valuable insights about the same. Though it is not compulsory to sign up for this service, in order to get a position in Google’s Search engine, but if you do so; it will help you to get a thorough idea of how Google views your site and how it optimizes it’s performance as well.


Why using Google Search Console is a good idea?

  • It helps Google to access your content and helps your website to get better ranking on the search engine.
  • It filters those contents from your website which you don’t want to be shown in search result.
  • It keeps a track of those content which are capable of delivering visually engaging results.
  • Google Search Console also solves all the problems related to malware and spam which create unwanted hindrance to your website’s performance.

Features of Google Search Console

  • Performance tab

This tab enables you to analyse the pages and keywords which need more optimization and attention. This helps to improve the ranking of your website on Google Search.

  • Index Coverage

This is a technical tab within GSC, which updates you about-

  • The number of pages in the index of Google search, since the last update;
  • Errors and warning which led to issues in indexing of the pages from your website.
  • AMP

AMP tab stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It warns you about the errors which may occur in your URL from time to time. You can fix the issue and then request for a validation as well. The GSC will validate the fixed issue, so that there is no scope of error.

  • Job Postings

This tab will enable you to list all the job openings you want to post on your website. It also provides states about the responses coming on the job openings and the traffic it is attracting.

  • Events

This feature provides you a feedback on all your mark-up events.

  • Links

This section within GSC helps you to keep a track on the number of links from other websites, which points to your website.

  • Manual Actions

This tab prompts you whenever your website get penalized by Google.

So, if you are concerned with performance of your website, then Google Search Console is your cup of tea.

The 5 Best Team Messaging Apps

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You would wonder why team-messaging apps are required when you have so many of instant messaging apps to communicate. Well, these apps help organize team conversations about different topics at the same time as well as give you the freedom to search for the question’s already answered.

In addition, you do not need to search for the email addresses or contact information of your company’s employee. These apps also offer conference video calls, screen sharing, private messaging and discussion groups. It helps to keep all communications in one place, which makes it easy for everyone to communicate.

Team messaging apps help save time and make your company an exciting place to work. Here are the five best team messaging apps for your company:


Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web
Pricing: $8/month/user

“Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge” or Slack is an easy to use platform wherein you can join chat rooms based on the topic, and can also join private groups and enjoy direct messaging.

All the content inside slack is searchable including files, people and conversations. It offers a feature known as Teams, which allows groups, communities, or teams to join using a particular URL or invite sent by the team admin.



Stride (formerly HipChat)
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web
Pricing: $2/month/user

HipChat is a web service for the internal private online chat and instant messaging. Hipchat offers one-on-one and group/topic chat. Other features include cloud-based file storage, inline-image viewing, video calling and searchable message-history, 5 GB of file storage and SMS messaging. Custom emoticons and inline GIF playback are also noticeable features.


Workplace by Facebook
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web
Pricing: It offers a free 3-month trial account
$3/month/user for 1000 active users
$2/month/user for 1001-10000 active users
$1/month/user for more than 10000 active users

Workplace by Facebook allows you to communicate via different groups, to chat with employees and offers the features of the social network for your company. Walmart, Spotify, Air Asia, and Starbucks are noticeable clients of Workplace by Facebook.

It is also free for registered nonprofit organizations and staff of educational institutions.


Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web
Pricing: $3/month/user

It allows users to configure different apps and integrations from their App Store, and receive notifications and updates directly into Flock app. The app supports multiple languages, including English, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. You can create multiple teams for the entire company, a department or selected members of the organization.


Microsoft Teams
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Web
Pricing: $6 /month for a normal subscription
 $15/month/user for a premium subscription

Microsoft Teams is a wonderful platform that helps you organize meetings, make notes, join chats and send attachments. You can easily integrate Microsoft Teams with the Office 365 subscription including Microsoft Office and Skype.

It has channels that are topics of conversation that allow your employees to communicate without the use of email’s or SMS (texting). Users can also reply to posts using different images, GIF or custom-made memes.