Common Mistakes in E-Commerce – Part 3 of 3 – Promotion & Marketing

The classic saying, “If you build it, they will come,” unfortunately does not apply to e-commerce sites. Millions of e-commerce sites are accessible on the internet, but unless you’ve directly contacted prospective customers and informed them of your site, they probably won’t ever know it exists. Therefore, e-commerce sites need well-developed marketing plans and carefully targeted investments that are aimed at increasing site traffic. A strong search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy to attract customers to your site is also a necessity. In this final part of our three-part series, we explore the common mistakes that new e-commerce sites make in creating and implementing their promotion and marketing plans.Mistake #1: Inadequate Planning
How will customers know that your site exists? How will they know when it is functional? And unless you offer something truly unique, why will customers opt to visit your site versus that of your competitors? If your business does not have a plan in place to answer these questions, then your site may never have a chance at success.All e-commerce sites should have a plan for attracting website visitors, whether that includes advertising, direct mail, promotions or marketing through industry associations. Identify complementary sites on which your companies advertisements would generate interest in your products. Evaluate whether a banner-ad, product placement, or pop-up ad would be most effective. Also, locate industry association sites where you can post press releases, make announcements, or place links to drive customers to your site. Also, consider conducting a promotion within your first few months of business that rewards buyers with a future discount if they refer friends and family members to your site.Mistake #2: Little Focus on Market Targeting
Unless you have the capital to become the next Amazon.com, focus your time and energy on a particular market niche or segment. Your entire marketing plan, site design and investment should be directed toward this target audience. The product mix that your site offers should reflect the tastes and desires of this audience, and your promotional messaging and site design should be based created for this audience.Without a specific target, your e-commerce site will be vague, unfocused, and ultimately unsuccessful.Mistake #3: Low Marketing Investment
Without a doubt, the upfront investment needed to create and operate an e-commerce site is less than that needed to open a brick-and-mortar store. But don’t underestimate the initial investment required to develop a successful online business.Most e-commerce sites allocate the majority of their funds to the technical side of the business and ignore other aspects of their company, like marketing and staffing. As we discussed in part two, it is critical to have an adequately sized customer service staff to respond to customer inquiries and orders. It is just as important to allocate funds to marketing, enhance link building, implement a thorough advertising plan and budget, and ensure that customers are driven to your site.Mistake #4: Poor Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Strategy
Many new e-commerce sites decide that an SEO strategy isn’t important, or think that they can put it off for a while. However, a well-developed SEO strategy should be a large focus of your business plan. Failure to implement an SEO strategy means that customers will not find your site, will not browse your products, and will not purchase what you are selling.Identify keywords that potential customers will search for when trying to find your product. Research and study the keywords and phrases that your target market is using to search for your items, and integrate them throughout your site. Do not assume that the words you use to describe your products are the same words that your potential customers are using. Your SEO strategy should be developed early on in the site-planning process, so that keywords can be incorporated accordingly into your website content.In this three-part series, we have explored the common mistakes that e-commerce sites make, from poor planning to confusing navigation and inadequate order fulfilment. The internet gives customers millions of options for online shopping, but common mistakes such as these ultimately determine where customers spend their dollars and which online business will succeed. Develop a strong business plan, follow this guide, and you’ll be on your way to running a successful e-commerce site.
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SPDN: An Inexpensive Way To Profit When The S&P 500 Falls

Summary
SPDN is not the largest or oldest way to short the S&P 500, but it’s a solid choice.
This ETF uses a variety of financial instruments to target a return opposite that of the S&P 500 Index.
SPDN’s 0.49% Expense Ratio is nearly half that of the larger, longer-tenured -1x Inverse S&P 500 ETF.
Details aside, the potential continuation of the equity bear market makes single-inverse ETFs an investment segment investor should be familiar with.
We rate SPDN a Strong Buy because we believe the risks of a continued bear market greatly outweigh the possibility of a quick return to a bull market.
Put a gear stick into R position, (Reverse).
Birdlkportfolio

By Rob Isbitts

Summary
The S&P 500 is in a bear market, and we don’t see a quick-fix. Many investors assume the only way to navigate a potentially long-term bear market is to hide in cash, day-trade or “just hang in there” while the bear takes their retirement nest egg.

The Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear 1X ETF (NYSEARCA:SPDN) is one of a class of single-inverse ETFs that allow investors to profit from down moves in the stock market.

SPDN is an unleveraged, liquid, low-cost way to either try to hedge an equity portfolio, profit from a decline in the S&P 500, or both. We rate it a Strong Buy, given our concern about the intermediate-term outlook for the global equity market.

Strategy
SPDN keeps it simple. If the S&P 500 goes up by X%, it should go down by X%. The opposite is also expected.

Proprietary ETF Grades
Offense/Defense: Defense

Segment: Inverse Equity

Sub-Segment: Inverse S&P 500

Correlation (vs. S&P 500): Very High (inverse)

Expected Volatility (vs. S&P 500): Similar (but opposite)

Holding Analysis
SPDN does not rely on shorting individual stocks in the S&P 500. Instead, the managers typically use a combination of futures, swaps and other derivative instruments to create a portfolio that consistently aims to deliver the opposite of what the S&P 500 does.

Strengths
SPDN is a fairly “no-frills” way to do what many investors probably wished they could do during the first 9 months of 2022 and in past bear markets: find something that goes up when the “market” goes down. After all, bonds are not the answer they used to be, commodities like gold have, shall we say, lost their luster. And moving to cash creates the issue of making two correct timing decisions, when to get in and when to get out. SPDN and its single-inverse ETF brethren offer a liquid tool to use in a variety of ways, depending on what a particular investor wants to achieve.

Weaknesses
The weakness of any inverse ETF is that it does the opposite of what the market does, when the market goes up. So, even in bear markets when the broader market trend is down, sharp bear market rallies (or any rallies for that matter) in the S&P 500 will cause SPDN to drop as much as the market goes up.

Opportunities
While inverse ETFs have a reputation in some circles as nothing more than day-trading vehicles, our own experience with them is, pardon the pun, exactly the opposite! We encourage investors to try to better-understand single inverse ETFs like SPDN. While traders tend to gravitate to leveraged inverse ETFs (which actually are day-trading tools), we believe that in an extended bear market, SPDN and its ilk could be a game-saver for many portfolios.

Threats
SPDN and most other single inverse ETFs are vulnerable to a sustained rise in the price of the index it aims to deliver the inverse of. But that threat of loss in a rising market means that when an investor considers SPDN, they should also have a game plan for how and when they will deploy this unique portfolio weapon.

Proprietary Technical Ratings
Short-Term Rating (next 3 months): Strong Buy

Long-Term Rating (next 12 months): Buy

Conclusions
ETF Quality Opinion
SPDN does what it aims to do, and has done so for over 6 years now. For a while, it was largely-ignored, given the existence of a similar ETF that has been around much longer. But the more tenured SPDN has become, the more attractive it looks as an alternative.

ETF Investment Opinion

SPDN is rated Strong Buy because the S&P 500 continues to look as vulnerable to further decline. And, while the market bottomed in mid-June, rallied, then waffled since that time, our proprietary macro market indicators all point to much greater risk of a major decline from this level than a fast return to bull market glory. Thus, SPDN is at best a way to exploit and attack the bear, and at worst a hedge on an otherwise equity-laden portfolio.

Personal Finance Online: Goal Setting With Students

Students come with a wide variety hopes, dreams and needs. While many of them share the same goal – getting an education – very few of them are prepared for this critical stage in their life when it comes to money. While they all practically live online and are permanently glued to smartphones, only the very smartest conduct their personal finance online.Goal setting with students is relatively easy to explain because they completely understand the concepts of choosing what they want and implementing a plan to achieve it, but while they are encouraged by educators who provide them with a goal setting template by way of lectures and seminar timetables, they each have to take responsibility to create their very own goal setting worksheet, timetable, study plan, and pin it to their wall.So why don’t people take the skills they learned while goal setting with students, and apply them to the world of personal finance? After all they ‘live’ online so why not train, learn and plan their personal finance online too? The answer comes in the tools available and knowing what to do with them.There are four areas where personal finance online can be enhanced with students, and goal setting is only one part of a process which touches all four areas.Earning Money As A Student First jobs are character building for students. They get to find out what they enjoy doing, and what they hate doing. Earning money as a student allows strong developments in skills such as influencing people, task management, reading situations, and making judgments.The best earnings goals though, are the ones which enhance entrepreneurial flair, independent choices, and return financial rewards. So many students ignore this, thinking a job equals money equals spending. The smartest thing to do when teaching goal setting with students, is to give them the skills of personal finance, knowing the value of their earning, and the ability to make money not take money.Saving Money As A StudentIndependent money is a thrill like no other for a student, and the impulse to use it to the fullest extent normally extends to living life large, in the moment.Yet remembering the famous marshmallow test by Professor Walter Mischel, one of the core principals of sharing goal setting with students is that of delayed gratification – the skill to wait until later to enjoy the money.Saving money as a student therefore is a pillar of personal finance online because when a student understands the concept of “Pay Yourself First” they will save. Tools which track and coach personal finance online help in this financial goal setting because it allows the student to see where their money goes, see what are expenses versus expenditure, and minimise the waste that can only come from the typical hedonistic student lifestyle.Spending Money As A StudentStudents need no help to spend money, it’s programmed into them long before concepts like personal finance online are ever introduced to them – but spending within a structured thought process is a central tenet of financial goal setting with students. Informed and considered thought before splashing out the money does not have to make a students life boring, and it can avoid a lot of pain later.Since there is a lot of shopping online as a student, it is easy to adopt these four questions when considering personal finance matters online. This as true in London England as it is in any other place with students.Do I need it?
Why Do I want it?
Will it impact the rest of my Month?
Does it affect my Debt?Investing Money As A StudentStudents are not known for their wealth,but considering the power of financial goal setting with students as described above, the principles of adopting personal finance online would not be complete without investing.Even a small about of money invested while a student will grow massively due to the magical impact of interest compounding. The rewards for students who invest significantly outweigh the risks, since rather than save, they are actually giving every penny a purpose when following the principals of personal finance online because it can be seen, tracked, followed, and enjoyed all through their core activity – being glued to the internet.Budgeting in personal finance is not the shiniest activity, but a concentration on this subject can be exponentially rewarding. Done effectively, it can become the core skill in money management and is a must-have objective while educating on goal setting with students. This way they can avoid or minimise debt, pay it back faster, live within their means and not beyond their means.