UK AIMS TO BECOME BEST PLACE TO START AND GROW A DIGITAL BUSINESS

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The UK Government has set out its strategy to grow the economic contribution of digital businesses from £118bn to £200bn by 2025 in a wide-ranging document aiming to make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business.

The raft of objectives covering infrastructure, education, data and security, public services and other areas aims to accelerate growth of the UK’s estimated 200,000 digital enterprises which are believed to support 1.4m UK jobs.This includes fast-growing digital centres in Southhampton, West Cornwall and Dundee and key northern cities, as well as the the biggest cluster of digital businesses in London and south east. Digital sectors also attracted a record £1.57bn of equity finance in 2015, more than four times the level of 2011.

The report lists six UK sectors in which the country is globally leading – artificial intelligence, cyber security, Fin  Tech, gaming, virtual reality, and Gov Tech – and other sectors, such as advertising and design, in which a fusion of digital and creative expertise give the UK an international lead. Developing areas such as the Internet of Things, Autonomous Vehicle Technologies, Health Tech and Ed Tech are seen as providing further opportunities.

As part of its seven strand digital strategy, the Government aims to:

  • Improve digital infrastructure by completing the rollout of 4G and superfast broadband, and giving every individual, business and premise the right to request  affordable high speed brodband;
  • Establish a new digital skills partnership and adopt the recommendations of a review to ensure computer science students have up to date, real world skills;
  • Use its Autumn 2016 pledge to invest £4.7bn in R&D funding by 2020-21 to ensure British business benefits from scientific and technological breakthroughs;
  • Support the work of a new Productivity Council to encourage appropriate use of technologies across the economy;
  • Support the National Cyber Security Centre and introduce new active cyber defence approach;
  • Implement the Government Transformation Strategy, including by working towards 25m GOV.UK users by 2020;
  • Act to make the UK a world-leading, data-driven economy, including by implementing the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation by May 2018.

The strategy applies the framework set out by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy green paper, published in January 2017.

Announcing the digital strategy, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP said:“This Digital Strategy applies this framework to the digital economy across the whole country. It will boost our world-leading digital sectors and overcome barriers to growth and innovation, creating more of the high-skilled, high paid jobs of the future. It will deliver the first-class digital infrastructure and advanced skills base that businesses across the country need to be able to take advantage of digital tools.”

[Source:- thecreativeindustries]

iPhones Grow in Popularity, But Android Platform Still Leads

smartphone makers

Apple continues to lead the pack in the U.S. as a smartphone make.   To iPhone users, that’s probably not a surprise.  iPhone users tend to be loyal fans.

More than 39 percent of mobile subscribers in the 3 month average ending April used Apple smartphones, comScore reports. That’s more than any other smartphone maker.

And popularity is growing.  April’s figures are a 1.4 percent increase over Apple’s share of the market as measured in January. The company’s market share in this category actually increased by nearly a full percentage point over its closest competitor, Samsung.

Here is how the rest of the smartphone market breaks down:

Samsung was next, with 22 percent of the market, up just over half a percentage point since January. These figures could change in favor of Samsung if the company sees customers confidently buying its Galaxy S4 smartphone or its competitively priced Galaxy S4 Mini (when it’s released).

Phone makes HTC (9.7%), Motorola (8.6%), and LG (7%) follow.

Android Leads, If Measured By Operating Platform

If you count by operating platforms — instead of phone makers — the story is different.

Google’s Android continues to dominate in the smartphone operating system market. This market is measured by the number of subscribers using the Android operating system, versus a particular make of phone.

According to comScore’s MobiLens service, over half of the 138.5 million smartphone users in the U.S. have phones running Google’s Android platform. But Android’s lead among operating systems decreased nearly two full percentage points from January to April.

Apple’s iOS, of course, is next at 39% and saw a 1.4 percent increase as mentioned above.

BlackBerry and Windows phones’ market shares each dropped a bit, less than a percentage point over the same period, according to the MobiLens survey.

MobiLens gets its information from a nationwide sample of smartphone subscribers over the age of 13. Only primary mobile phone numbers are used to collect data.

Shutterstock, smartphone

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

50 Apps to Manage and Grow Your Etsy Business

grow your etsy business

The key to making the most of Etsy lies in apps, add-ons and integrations that offer features and functionality above and beyond the basic Etsy setup. From inventory management to social media marketing and sales tax calculation, you’ll find tools here to help you both manage and grow your Etsy business.

Below, you’ll find a hand-picked list of the 50 most useful Etsy apps.

1. Etsy Shopping

This mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices and can be used to manage basic store features. According to Etsy “Shop management tools are still available in the Etsy shopping app, but only for a limited time.” So if you’re just starting to manage your store, and you use iOS, move on to app #2.

2. Sell On Etsy

Etsy’s new mobile app for sellers is currently available only on iOS devices (i.e. iPhone and iPad) though migration to all platforms seems to be the company’s plan. This app was designed from the ground up for sellers and provides many more store management features than app #1.

3. Craft Task Manager

Craft Task Manager provides dynamic itemized checklists for prepping orders to ship, shipping and profit estimates as well as reporting capabilities.

4. Mad Mimi Integration

Mad Mimi’s integration with Etsy simplifies email marketing by enabling you to drag-and-drop images and text from the sidebar to add to your emails.

5. Craftmonkey

grow your etsy business 2

Craftmonkey lets you create marketing emails to send to your MailChimp lists by dragging and dropping Etsy product images and text into place. The downside is that you’re limited to three basic email templates. As MailChimp is known for their beautifully designed templates, that’s a bit of a disappointment.

6. WiseStamp

This email app works with most major browser and email providers to automatically add the latest item listed in your Etsy shop to your email signature.

7. FotoFuze

FotoFuze enhances your images and their backgrounds to show your goods off at their best.

8. Pict

Pict uses hotspots to embed links and product information inside of each picture, a feature that leads customers back to your store even when the image is shown on another site.

9. Around.io

This app enables you to schedule promotional updates on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Winning features: The “All Day” function uses your current store listings to automatically create tweets and pins for you while the collage function automatically combines your images creating a showcase photo to post on Facebook or pin on Pinterest.

10. MySocialPig

MySocialPig enables you to schedule social media updates on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. The one down check is the fact that Google+ is not included, however the interface is an improvement over Around.io’s.

11. Promotesy

Promotesy provides social media update scheduling, but swaps out Pinterest for LinkedIn. If more of your buyers hang out on LinkedIn than Pinterest, this app might be a better choice.

12. Fanchimp

grow your etsy business 3

Fanchimp enables you to schedule promotional updates on Facebook and Twitter while adding content curation to your social media mix. Using your listings as a basis, this app pulls in and displays related content from which you can pick and choose updates to publish.

13. ViralWoot

ViralWoot uses the power of viral marketing to promote your Pinterest updates. When you schedule a pin, it appears on ViralWoot’s Pinterest boards where it’s exposed to a network of 27,000+ followers.

14. Etsy-fu

If you focus your social media efforts solely on Twitter, and want an interface that allows you to do just that, then Etsy-fu is worth a look.

15. Etsy Theme Shop

This free app provides beautiful templates that show your Etsy store at its best on WordPress websites, Facebook tabs and mobile devices. On Facebook, you can set up a “Like gate” so people can be rewarded for liking your page and on all three platforms. There’s a button that leads to a bi-weekly promotion that rewards Etsy gift cards to folks who share your products on their own social networks.

16. Etsy Store App for Facebook Pages

grow your etsy business 4

This free Facebook store app has fewer bells and whistles to struggle with as you get your store up and running fast. Like #15, this app also offers a “Like gate”.

17. Fanpageology

Fanpageology‘s drag-and-drop designer gives you creative freedom when setting up your store on Facebook. Add in features such as “Like gates”, product slideshows, testimonials, email collection, contest and product giveaways (to name a few) and this app deserves a look.

18. OrangeTwig

The top navigation bar provided by this free Facebook store app helps keep customers on the “My Etsy Shop” Facebook tab longer by providing its own wall as well as other helpful tabs. In addition, you can use OrangeTwig to place items on sale.

19. Merchpin

With a powerful rules engine that lets you choose where to sell which products and a bevy of other useful merchandising features, Merchpin integrates your Etsy listings with a number of popular online website solutions, social media networks and stand-alone shopping carts.

20. Shopseen

If you sell online using more than one platform, Shopseen provides one central spot to add and update your product listings. It also offers social media updates, shipping and email marketing.

21. Virb Websites with Etsy Integration

The integration with Virb enables you to create a stand-alone website that includes your Etsy store. Shoppers are taken to Etsy to checkout.

22. Wix

Similar to app #21, Wix is integrated with Etsy so including your store on a stand-alone website is a snap.

23. IndieMade

grow your etsy business 5

Etsy’s integration with IndieMade is similar to apps #21 and #22 however two-way synchronization ensures that text, image and inventory level updates happen on both Etsy and your stand-alone site at the same time.

24. If This Then That (Ifttt)

Ifttt automates everyday business tasks. With many useful “Connections” already in place for Etsy sellers, plus the ability to create a custom one in minutes. This app is a productivity tool you might want to consider.

25. BestAutoRenew.com

BestAutoRenew.com goes above and beyond simple listing auto-renew by providing the ability to create rules that renew products automatically based on categories, tags and even random selections. The app lets you know how much Etsy will charge you for each renewal before you fire it off.

26. Uncle Gravy’s Renewing Agent

The outstanding feature of Uncle Gravy’s Renewing Agent is the ability to renew listings based on traffic so you don’t waste your money renewing items that customers have been ignoring.

27. Etsy On Sale

Etsy On Sale schedules listing auto-renews but then takes that a step further by enabling you to schedule sales as well. In addition to placing your items on sale on Etsy, all sale items are also listed on a separate website that attracts bargain hunters from around the world.

28. Craftybase

This app provides an inventory management solution designed for crafters. Craftybase will help you answer questions such as: “Do I have materials in stock to make my products today?” And “How much should I sell my handmade products for?”

Throw in additional features such as customer and vendor management, sales and invoicing and time tracking and this is one app you may not be able to overlook.

29. Craft Maker Pro

grow your etsy business 6

Designed for crafters, Craft Maker Pro‘s best feature is the automated cost and pricing functionality that helps you set the right prices for the products you sell on Etsy.

30. RunInventory

This app for small manufacturers provides powerful inventory management for Etsy sellers.

31. Stitch Labs

Stitch Labs enables you to consolidate all your online inventory and sales in one place and then export that information to bookkeeping solutions such as Quickbooks.

32. Putler

With out-of-the box Etsy connectivity, you can import all your Etsy transactions into Putler and instantly see insightful statistics about sales, customers and products.

33. Heartomatic

Heartomatic lets you know how many people have favorited and viewed your listings and also reports on which listings have appeared on the featured list on Etsy’s home page or in one of Etsy’s emails to shoppers.

34. Sales Map

For a quick view of where your products are selling, you can check the Sales Map app. You can even post the map on your website.

35. ReferralCandy

ReferralCandy rewards a customer for sending friends to your business by enabling them to share special discounts on your items with their own social networks. When one of their friends makes a purchase, the referrer is rewarded with an additional discount.

36. BannerPlay

BannerPlay helps you create ad banners and then enables you to display them in front of a targeted audience across hundreds of sites.

37. Craftcount

grow your etsy business 7

Craftcount provides useful information that draws targeted traffic and then surrounds that information with your paid Etsy ads providing a good way to reach a larger audience.

38. Nowinstore

With Nowinstore, you can create a downloadable product catalog with the click of a button. Also included is the ability to add and edit wholesale prices.

39. BETSI

BETSI, a bulk/batch editing tool for Etsy, is the go-to app for a large number of Etsyans. Downloadable for both Macs and PCs (there’s a free lite version too) it offers 65 custom action tools, the ability to schedule changes using rules and “review before publish” functionality.

40. ShopShaper

Though BETSI is more popular, the bulk/batch editing ShopShaper app has a following of it own. Check out both their trial versions for free and choose the one that fits your business best.

41. eCC Cloud

eCC Cloud offers accounting integration with over 30 eCommerce solutions (including Etsy) on your bookkeeping account for either Quickbooks or Xero.

42. Outright

Outright is a bookkeeping and tax preparation solution that integrates seamlessly with Etsy. Both direct Etsy checkouts and PayPal transactions are captured, making this a complete financial solution for Etsy sellers.

43. WorkingPoint

Another alternative for Etsy bookkeeping, WorkingPoint’s clean interface and easy, step-by-step actions help take the fear out of finances.

44. TaxJar

TaxJar takes all the guesswork out of the sales tax collection and payment process by tracking your sales state-by-state so you’ll know when, and how much, to pay. It even reconciles errors in your pricing so you can be sure to collect the right tax amount with each sale.

45. ShipStation

This app features automatic order entry integration from a number of eCommerce platforms. There are also rules that can route specific orders to specific carriers and shipping speeds. There are also extras like return shipping labels. In the end, there are a lot of features here to make your order fulfillment process run smoothly from beginning to end.

46. ShippingEasy

grow your etsy business 8

The folks over at ShippingEasy focus on keeping the costs of delivery down by offering discounted rates. It’s similar to app #45. Etsy sellers may want to look at both to see which fits their business best.

47. ShipRush

Tightly integrated with Etsy (as well as many other ecommerce platforms), the ShipRush system automatically enters orders when they’re placed. Before shipping occurs, ShipRush can provide packing lists. And, when shipping occurs, Etsy and the customer are updated at the same time with tracking numbers and delivery dates.

48. ATS International Shipping Tool

ATS has made international shipping their focus. One standout feature is the ability to populate a product’s shipping rate table on Etsy automatically.

49. Crafthub.me

This app allows digital sellers to completely control the customer delivery experience from branding to tracking and everything in between.

50. Fulfillrite

Fulfillrite provides warehouse space to your business and manages the entire order fulfillment process for you so you can focus on what you do best – crafting.

Etsy businesses may differ significantly based on the products they sell and the customers they target. Check out all these Etsy apps to determine which best fit your business needs.

Handmade Soap Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Popular Articles, Small Business Growth

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

50 Apps to Manage and Grow Your Etsy Business

grow your etsy business

The key to making the most of Etsy lies in apps, add-ons and integrations that offer features and functionality above and beyond the basic Etsy setup. From inventory management to social media marketing and sales tax calculation, you’ll find tools here to help you both manage and grow your Etsy business.

Below, you’ll find a hand-picked list of the 50 most useful Etsy apps.

1. Etsy Shopping

This mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices and can be used to manage basic store features. According to Etsy “Shop management tools are still available in the Etsy shopping app, but only for a limited time.” So if you’re just starting to manage your store, and you use iOS, move on to app #2.

2. Sell On Etsy

Etsy’s new mobile app for sellers is currently available only on iOS devices (i.e. iPhone and iPad) though migration to all platforms seems to be the company’s plan. This app was designed from the ground up for sellers and provides many more store management features than app #1.

3. Craft Task Manager

Craft Task Manager provides dynamic itemized checklists for prepping orders to ship, shipping and profit estimates as well as reporting capabilities.

4. Mad Mimi Integration

Mad Mimi’s integration with Etsy simplifies email marketing by enabling you to drag-and-drop images and text from the sidebar to add to your emails.

5. Craftmonkey

grow your etsy business 2

Craftmonkey lets you create marketing emails to send to your MailChimp lists by dragging and dropping Etsy product images and text into place. The downside is that you’re limited to three basic email templates. As MailChimp is known for their beautifully designed templates, that’s a bit of a disappointment.

6. WiseStamp

This email app works with most major browser and email providers to automatically add the latest item listed in your Etsy shop to your email signature.

7. FotoFuze

FotoFuze enhances your images and their backgrounds to show your goods off at their best.

8. Pict

Pict uses hotspots to embed links and product information inside of each picture, a feature that leads customers back to your store even when the image is shown on another site.

9. Around.io

This app enables you to schedule promotional updates on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Winning features: The “All Day” function uses your current store listings to automatically create tweets and pins for you while the collage function automatically combines your images creating a showcase photo to post on Facebook or pin on Pinterest.

10. MySocialPig

MySocialPig enables you to schedule social media updates on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. The one down check is the fact that Google+ is not included, however the interface is an improvement over Around.io’s.

11. Promotesy

Promotesy provides social media update scheduling, but swaps out Pinterest for LinkedIn. If more of your buyers hang out on LinkedIn than Pinterest, this app might be a better choice.

12. Fanchimp

grow your etsy business 3

Fanchimp enables you to schedule promotional updates on Facebook and Twitter while adding content curation to your social media mix. Using your listings as a basis, this app pulls in and displays related content from which you can pick and choose updates to publish.

13. ViralWoot

ViralWoot uses the power of viral marketing to promote your Pinterest updates. When you schedule a pin, it appears on ViralWoot’s Pinterest boards where it’s exposed to a network of 27,000+ followers.

14. Etsy-fu

If you focus your social media efforts solely on Twitter, and want an interface that allows you to do just that, then Etsy-fu is worth a look.

15. Etsy Theme Shop

This free app provides beautiful templates that show your Etsy store at its best on WordPress websites, Facebook tabs and mobile devices. On Facebook, you can set up a “Like gate” so people can be rewarded for liking your page and on all three platforms. There’s a button that leads to a bi-weekly promotion that rewards Etsy gift cards to folks who share your products on their own social networks.

16. Etsy Store App for Facebook Pages

grow your etsy business 4

This free Facebook store app has fewer bells and whistles to struggle with as you get your store up and running fast. Like #15, this app also offers a “Like gate”.

17. Fanpageology

Fanpageology‘s drag-and-drop designer gives you creative freedom when setting up your store on Facebook. Add in features such as “Like gates”, product slideshows, testimonials, email collection, contest and product giveaways (to name a few) and this app deserves a look.

18. OrangeTwig

The top navigation bar provided by this free Facebook store app helps keep customers on the “My Etsy Shop” Facebook tab longer by providing its own wall as well as other helpful tabs. In addition, you can use OrangeTwig to place items on sale.

19. Merchpin

With a powerful rules engine that lets you choose where to sell which products and a bevy of other useful merchandising features, Merchpin integrates your Etsy listings with a number of popular online website solutions, social media networks and stand-alone shopping carts.

20. Shopseen

If you sell online using more than one platform, Shopseen provides one central spot to add and update your product listings. It also offers social media updates, shipping and email marketing.

21. Virb Websites with Etsy Integration

The integration with Virb enables you to create a stand-alone website that includes your Etsy store. Shoppers are taken to Etsy to checkout.

22. Wix

Similar to app #21, Wix is integrated with Etsy so including your store on a stand-alone website is a snap.

23. IndieMade

grow your etsy business 5

Etsy’s integration with IndieMade is similar to apps #21 and #22 however two-way synchronization ensures that text, image and inventory level updates happen on both Etsy and your stand-alone site at the same time.

24. If This Then That (Ifttt)

Ifttt automates everyday business tasks. With many useful “Connections” already in place for Etsy sellers, plus the ability to create a custom one in minutes. This app is a productivity tool you might want to consider.

25. BestAutoRenew.com

BestAutoRenew.com goes above and beyond simple listing auto-renew by providing the ability to create rules that renew products automatically based on categories, tags and even random selections. The app lets you know how much Etsy will charge you for each renewal before you fire it off.

26. Uncle Gravy’s Renewing Agent

The outstanding feature of Uncle Gravy’s Renewing Agent is the ability to renew listings based on traffic so you don’t waste your money renewing items that customers have been ignoring.

27. Etsy On Sale

Etsy On Sale schedules listing auto-renews but then takes that a step further by enabling you to schedule sales as well. In addition to placing your items on sale on Etsy, all sale items are also listed on a separate website that attracts bargain hunters from around the world.

28. Craftybase

This app provides an inventory management solution designed for crafters. Craftybase will help you answer questions such as: “Do I have materials in stock to make my products today?” And “How much should I sell my handmade products for?”

Throw in additional features such as customer and vendor management, sales and invoicing and time tracking and this is one app you may not be able to overlook.

29. Craft Maker Pro

grow your etsy business 6

Designed for crafters, Craft Maker Pro‘s best feature is the automated cost and pricing functionality that helps you set the right prices for the products you sell on Etsy.

30. RunInventory

This app for small manufacturers provides powerful inventory management for Etsy sellers.

31. Stitch Labs

Stitch Labs enables you to consolidate all your online inventory and sales in one place and then export that information to bookkeeping solutions such as Quickbooks.

32. Putler

With out-of-the box Etsy connectivity, you can import all your Etsy transactions into Putler and instantly see insightful statistics about sales, customers and products.

33. Heartomatic

Heartomatic lets you know how many people have favorited and viewed your listings and also reports on which listings have appeared on the featured list on Etsy’s home page or in one of Etsy’s emails to shoppers.

34. Sales Map

For a quick view of where your products are selling, you can check the Sales Map app. You can even post the map on your website.

35. ReferralCandy

ReferralCandy rewards a customer for sending friends to your business by enabling them to share special discounts on your items with their own social networks. When one of their friends makes a purchase, the referrer is rewarded with an additional discount.

36. BannerPlay

BannerPlay helps you create ad banners and then enables you to display them in front of a targeted audience across hundreds of sites.

37. Craftcount

grow your etsy business 7

Craftcount provides useful information that draws targeted traffic and then surrounds that information with your paid Etsy ads providing a good way to reach a larger audience.

38. Nowinstore

With Nowinstore, you can create a downloadable product catalog with the click of a button. Also included is the ability to add and edit wholesale prices.

39. BETSI

BETSI, a bulk/batch editing tool for Etsy, is the go-to app for a large number of Etsyans. Downloadable for both Macs and PCs (there’s a free lite version too) it offers 65 custom action tools, the ability to schedule changes using rules and “review before publish” functionality.

40. ShopShaper

Though BETSI is more popular, the bulk/batch editing ShopShaper app has a following of it own. Check out both their trial versions for free and choose the one that fits your business best.

41. eCC Cloud

eCC Cloud offers accounting integration with over 30 eCommerce solutions (including Etsy) on your bookkeeping account for either Quickbooks or Xero.

42. Outright

Outright is a bookkeeping and tax preparation solution that integrates seamlessly with Etsy. Both direct Etsy checkouts and PayPal transactions are captured, making this a complete financial solution for Etsy sellers.

43. WorkingPoint

Another alternative for Etsy bookkeeping, WorkingPoint’s clean interface and easy, step-by-step actions help take the fear out of finances.

44. TaxJar

TaxJar takes all the guesswork out of the sales tax collection and payment process by tracking your sales state-by-state so you’ll know when, and how much, to pay. It even reconciles errors in your pricing so you can be sure to collect the right tax amount with each sale.

45. ShipStation

This app features automatic order entry integration from a number of eCommerce platforms. There are also rules that can route specific orders to specific carriers and shipping speeds. There are also extras like return shipping labels. In the end, there are a lot of features here to make your order fulfillment process run smoothly from beginning to end.

46. ShippingEasy

grow your etsy business 8

The folks over at ShippingEasy focus on keeping the costs of delivery down by offering discounted rates. It’s similar to app #45. Etsy sellers may want to look at both to see which fits their business best.

47. ShipRush

Tightly integrated with Etsy (as well as many other ecommerce platforms), the ShipRush system automatically enters orders when they’re placed. Before shipping occurs, ShipRush can provide packing lists. And, when shipping occurs, Etsy and the customer are updated at the same time with tracking numbers and delivery dates.

48. ATS International Shipping Tool

ATS has made international shipping their focus. One standout feature is the ability to populate a product’s shipping rate table on Etsy automatically.

49. Crafthub.me

This app allows digital sellers to completely control the customer delivery experience from branding to tracking and everything in between.

50. Fulfillrite

Fulfillrite provides warehouse space to your business and manages the entire order fulfillment process for you so you can focus on what you do best – crafting.

Etsy businesses may differ significantly based on the products they sell and the customers they target. Check out all these Etsy apps to determine which best fit your business needs.

Handmade Soap Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Popular Articles, Small Business Growth

[“source-smallbiztrends”]