Keeping up to date in the constantly changing trends in ecommerce can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to monitor so many new ideas about usability, design, SEO and general consumer behavior when you are worried about getting all of your orders processed in a day.
Fortunately, there are tools out there to make keeping up with the times much easier. Here are just a few ideas to keep current in industry trends:
1.) Set up a gmail account just to receive “Google Alerts.” Google Alerts allow you to track stories pertaining to certain keywords you would like to track. For example, if you sell iPhones, you could track keywords such as “iPhones”, “cellular phones”, or “internet phones”. You can also track your competitors by entering keywords such as “Google phone.” Any time Google finds a story pertaining to your keywords, it will show up in your gmail account as an alert.
2.) Find industry specific blogs that you like and sign up for their RSS feeds. RSS feeds will send any blog posts directly to your email address.
3.) If you find yourself overwhelmed with RSS feeds and Alerts, set up an account with iGoogle. iGoogle consolidates your RSS feeds with your Alerts into one clean interface. You will also receive news and the weather in your area. Logging into iGoogle at the beginning of each day can help you prioritize what is important for you to know for your work day.
4.) If going online is not enough, go to industry specific conferences and seminars. Conferences and seminars cost more than reading a few blog posts, but generally speakers at these events are industry influencers and can help you get in ahead of the curve. If you are looking to get an edge over a competitor or need to learn a lot of pertinent information in a short period of time, this is a good route to go. These events generally send useful information well after the event, so bear this in mind.
Keeping up with trends in magazines and newsletters can be a chore, but getting effectively organized and setting up a little time each day can mean the difference between staying on top and getting overrun by competitors.