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Communicate, Educate, and Network your way to e-commerce success

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IMA is now on Facebook. We welcome anyone that is involved in e-commerce to join our Facebook Group and take part in the active community there.

Upcoming education for e-commerce sellers

IMA will once again be participating in the educational sessions at the ASD show in March. We are excited to welcome some new speakers and new business members! All sessions will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center (room TBA). Here are the descriptions for our upcoming sessions:

Monday, March 17 @ 9:00AM:

Making the Move: Taking your Retail Business Online
Presented by: Rick Wilson, Miva Merchant

Are you ready to get your business online? On the internet, there are limitless opportunities to grow your business and having an online store gives you access to customers you may have never been able to target by any other means.

However, it might seem like a daunting task if you are just beginning to move your business online. What will I need to start? How much will it cost? Who should I hire? Those are just a few of the questions you might have if you are considering building an online store. This session will surely convince you that it’s time to move your business online.

Join ecommerce industry veteran Rick Wilson, President & COO of Miva Merchant as he provides answers to all the questions you have about making the move online.

Monday, March 17 @ 10:30AM:

10 Ways to Market Your Ecommerce Business on a Shoestring Budget
Presented by: Russell Walraven, Kabbage, Inc.

Mark Twain said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”

Expensive marketing does not always lead to increased sales. Just ask Pets.com, whose Super Bowl sock puppet commercial was a big hit with consumers, but left the company with an empty wallet.

Small businesses need to achieve a high-impact marketing plan on a low budget. In this session you will learn how to create a focused marketing strategy that will help you see an increase in sales for your online business.

Join veteran marketer Russell Walraven of Kabbage, Inc., where he will share some tried and true marketing strategies that can help you market your small ecommerce business on a shoestring budget.

Monday, March 17 @ 12:00PM:

Kick Ass Social Commerce for Small Business: It’s not About Likes, It’s About Sales
Presented by: John Lawson, ColderIce

You’re not special. Almost all businesses are online marketing these days—everyone tweets, posts to social networks, and blogs. What you’re doing now is not enough to make your business stand out.

Forget what all the self-proclaimed “social media gurus” are telling you. Being active on social media and being successful in social commerce are not the same things. Simply getting a bunch of followers or Likes doesn’t cut it anymore. In this session, award-winning digital media strategist John Lawson gives you a straight-shooting, no-holds-barred guide to social commerce. In other words, he shows you how to make money online using social media.

What you will learn:
–How to create a social marketing business plan using a simple, effective template, a proven blueprint for all stages of marketing—from start-up to empire.
–The importance of crafting messages for individual consumers and sharing them in real time to engage and convert.
–Employing the best social commerce strategy for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and the hottest new social media sites.
–Expertly leveraging features such as Likes, Retweets, Follows, Shares, and Reposts
–How to building a thriving social based marketing strategy and keeping it vibrant and growing

Monday, March 17 @ 1:30PM:

How Ecommerce Stores Can Prepare for Online Sales Tax
Presented by: Susan Petracco, AccurateTax.com

These days, online sales tax, tax laws, and rules and rate changes are in the news almost constantly. With thousands of jurisdictions in the United States, different sourcing model and taxability rules for each state, and competing federal and state laws attempting to define what sales tax should be collected, the idea of sales tax can seem daunting to the large and small business owner alike.

Ecommerce sellers should become familiar with what ‘nexus’ is as it pertains to sales tax, as well as applicability of nexus concepts and issues as they relate to sales and use tax.

Come join us as Susan Petracco, an ecommerce and tax software developer, presents an exploratory review of the entire sales tax lifecycle and how your business can be prepared for whatever the future may hold.

Monday, March 17 @ 3:00PM:

Get What You Want the FIRST Time – Hiring Freelance Authors to Write for your Web Site & How to Effectively Communicate Your Needs
Presented by: Regan Stokes, Wordtracker

Writing great product descriptions and articles for our ecommerce businesses is a necessary but difficult task for most of us. We know that we need to write great descriptions for our ecommerce products but we don’t know where to start. We know that we need to be writing educational blog posts and articles to show our authority in our field, but we don’t seem to over have the time or the manpower. Content creation is arguably one of the most important pieces of building your online presence.

Whether you realize it or not, chances are your ecommerce business is already using content marketing as a part of your overall marketing strategy. Content creation and marketing is really just about providing information (or content) to your potential customers to help them learn about your products and services. Join us as Regan Stokes of Textbroker International walks us through the process of hiring writers to create great web site content and how to best communicate what you need to freelance writers to make it a successful strategy for your ecommerce business.

Tuesday, March 18 @ 9:00AM:

Meet the Online Sellers – Experienced Amazon, eBay & Web Site Sellers Answer Your Questions
Panel Members: Mark Freeman, Fred Neff, Brenda Sanford

What’s better than learning from the experts? How about learning from three of them!  With 45+ years of combined experience, these three ecommerce sellers are here to share their knowledge of online selling with you. Mark Freeman, Fred Neff and Brenda Sanford – all members of the Internet Merchants Association (IMA)  – are here to take your questions and talk about their experiences of selling online.

Mark, Fred and Brenda each have a unique perspective and different experiences – this is a great opportunity to learn from those that have sold on various venues such as eBay, Amazon, ecommerce web sites….just to name a few.  Bring your questions and your notebooks – this panel is a great one for anyone that needs a helping hand with ecommerce selling.

The Internet Merchants Association is a 501c6 non-profit organization that is open to merchants that sell online. The mission of the IMA is to develop, promote, and to protect the economic vitality
of internet merchants through a positive business environment and to foster a climate in which commerce, industry and technology will flourish. The IMA’s motto: Communicate, educate and network – your way to e-commerce success.

Tuesday, March 18 @ 10:30AM:

Top Questions You Should Ask When Building an E-commerce Store
Presented by: Rick Wilson, Miva Merchant

Are you ready to build a web site to sell your products? Or, are you looking to redo a current, outdated ecommerce site? There are lots of factors to consider before you begin:

·     How to choose a host and shopping cart?

·     What needs to be on the product pages?

·     How to get customers to my site?

·     How will customers pay for their purchases?

·     What are the ‘must-have’ features that I need on my site?

·     How important is the checkout process?

·     How much will all this cost me?

The list goes on and on! Join Rick Wilson, President & COO of Miva Merchant as he presents a comprehensive list of questions you need to ask when you want to build a great ecommerce web site. This session is perfect for those who have never had an online store as well as those who need to start over.

Tuesday, March 18 @ 12:00PM:

The State of Small Business Financing and How it Affects You
Presented by: Russell Walraven, Kabbage, Inc.

Management of a business’s working capital is arguably one of the most important financial activities in small to mid-sized companies. This is due to the significant impact that the possession of working capital (or lack thereof) has on a company’s financial health and balance sheet.

While everyone knows the common phrase ‘cash is king’, it’s the working capital that is so often the least understood and most poorly managed area in small businesses. Ever wanted to run an ad campaign but you didn’t have the budget?  Ever have the opportunity to get a great deal by buying in bulk but you didn’t have the funds?  Most small businesses owners today are calling upon their personal credit cards and lines of credit to run their business.

Join us in this educational session as Russell Walraven, of Kabbage, Inc., gives you the scoop on the state of small business financing and how it affects you!  You’ll be amazed at how much having a little working capital can grow your business.

Tuesday, March 18 @ 1:30PM:

The Beginners Guide to Ecommerce SEO
Presented by: Pat Pepe, Internet Merchants Association

SEO – short for search engine optimization, is a complex and constantly changing subject. Unfortunately it’s often hard to know where to start and where to get information. Does the latest SEO tactic you’re reading about work or will that get you banned from the search engines forever? Should I do SEO myself or should I hire out?

We all know that we need to ‘do’ SEO if we want our web sites to show up in the search engines but we don’t know where to begin. The bottom line is that SEO can be a very confusing and frustrating task for online sellers. Add to that all the misinformation readily available online. Who to believe and where do you start? What tools do I need?  What training is available?

Pat Pepe, an online seller for 15 years and the education director for the Internet Merchants Association, will be presenting a guide for anyone that wants to learn the basics of SEO. Join her as she gives you what you need to start optimizing your ecommerce site today.