Yelp and Angie’s List are both sites that small businesses can use to improve their online reputations and attract potential customers. And recently, both sites announced changes that could benefit users even further.
Check out those items and other small biz headlines below in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.
Newly Free Angie’s List Will Increase Appeal of Small Biz Listings
Angie’s List (NASDAQ:ANGI) has finally torn down its paywall. The online reviews site, which has traditionally charged its visitors a $40 annual fee now has its reviews and ratings available for free. This change, which hasn’t attracted a lot of attention online, does actually have a strong implication for many businesses that use the site in terms of managing online reputation.
Need Local Business Analytics? Partner Program Opens Yelp Data
Yelp (NYSE:YELP), the online review platform, is looking to make the availability of data and analytics even more accessible with the launch of Yelp Knowledge.
Video Drives More Ecommerce Conversions than Social Media (Infographic)
If your business is getting a lot of attention online but still struggling to make sales, a new study could give you some idea why. Third party fulfillment provider Red Stag Fulfillment recently created an infographic compiling ecommerce conversion rates and some of the difficulties that businesses face in getting customers to complete the final steps of the buying process.
Freshdesk Introduces Freshsales, CRM with Something Extra
Freshdesk, the company known for its online customer support and help desk software, has unveiled a new software as a service solution aimed to help sales teams keep track of prospects in much the same way.
Small Biz Spotlight
Spotlight: ATLETO is a Sports Social Network for Athletes
Social networks, dating apps and other online platforms have made it easier than ever for people around the world to connect with others who share their interests. Those connections are a main focus for ATLETO, an app that connects athletes with each other to facilitate games or other athletic activities.
Small Business Loans
Change to SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act Would Benefit Small Lenders
A bill now moving through the Senate is being hailed as a triumph for small business. The legislation, if approved, would make it easier for loan officers leaving a big bank to take a job with a small independent lender or start a brokerage.
Small Business Operations
Get Free Skype for Business Meetings with HD Video Conferencing
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced in a blog post today a free offer of its online meeting tool Skype Meetings that provides small businesses with real-time audio, HD video conferencing and content sharing capabilities.
UPS Lockers Serve eCommerce Customers without Delivery Address
Following a successful pilot at nine Chicago stores that started in October 2014, UPS (NYSE:UPS) is finally adding 300 self-service package pickup lockers across the country with an aim of solving a problem that’s been annoying both UPS and its users — missed deliveries. UPS also seeks to make it easier for online retailers to improve shopper’s online experience and increase their sales.
Stickers for Twitter are Now Here, But Are They Right for Your Business?
Recently, Twitter unveiled a new feature called #Stickers that’s aimed at making photo tweets both more creative and more fun. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a communications app that doesn’t use stickers. WeChat, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Messenger are just a few of the many platforms that allow users to paste virtual cartoons into messages.
Do You Use Instagram for Marketing? Study Says 50 Percent of Fortune 500 Do
Instagram is gaining massive popularity among consumers and brands alike. But many small businesses still don’t know exactly what to do with the platform. If you’re still unsure about exactly how to use Instagram to benefit your business, it might help to look at what other successful businesses are doing with the platform.
UC Davis Big Bang 2016 Competition Awards $50,000-plus to Entrepreneurs
Have you ever participated in a university business competition? UCDavis Graduate School of Management recently concluded its annual Big Bang! Business Competition designed to help budding startups improve their business plans. According to UC Davis, university business competitions help turn ideas into lean, mean, well connected startups with great potential for profit.
Fostering Innovation Act Eases Regulations on Small Public Companies
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed by unanimous consent H.R. 4139, the Fostering Innovation Act.
Spire Wearable Tracks Your Breathing to Lower Your Stress
Running a small business can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. There are now wearables that can track your mood as well as your stress levels. While most fitness trackers will calculate your heart rate, calories, steps as well as sleeping habits, Spire tracks your breathing and stress levels, helping you calm down when necessary.
Fujifilm instax SHARE SP-2 Printer Fits in Pocket, Prints Photos on the Go
Even though many people have smartphones that can take pictures and videos, and show thousands of images, they still like the feeling of a photograph in their hands. The new Fujifilm (TYO:4901) instax SHARE SP-2 printer wants to give you that feeling by instantly printing the pictures you take on your smartphone.
75 Percent of Consumers Say Professional Email Addresses Key to Trust
Three-quarters (or 75 percent) of U.S ecommerce customers think having a domain-based email that matches your website is a very important factor when it comes to trusting an online small business. This statistic arises from a recent survey conducted by GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY).
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Image: Angie’s List/YouTube