Articles written in December, 2009

December 23 2009

Use your competitors to get a leg up?


Get a leg up for your business by establishing a presence with your competitor’s audience. You may as well bid on your competitor’s names and products, because they are bidding on yours. It’s imperative to bid on the names of your industry’s competitors, well known brand names and industry experts so that you can better establish your business and generate awareness (keep all trademark infringements in mind). This is an easy and often cheaper way to find new customers, primarily if you’re not well known or your products don’t have a large fan base. This allows you to piggyback on someone or something that does. 
Zappos, Overstock and Amazon are just a few of many companies who have done tremendously well and have generated a lot of business by bidding on competitor’s products and names.

Bid on Competitors Names

(Above is an example of several companies that are bidding on Nike’s name)

In addition to utilizing the sponsored ads available through the search engines, you should also use your competitor’s keyword phrases and names in the content network, which can be of a great advantage to you. The content network allows you to display your ads on other websites that may mention your competitors or pertain to your industry. Utilizing image ads in the content network can help you start to associate yourself as a top competitor and a company that someone should look into before engaging with other companies. If your competitors or their competing products are getting a lot of press or coverage, you can capitalize on their coverage. Piggybacking on your competitor’s popularity and following is a great way to find new customers and establish a larger fan base.

December 22 2009

Just a Few Days Left Till Santa!


If you’re an Online Retailer, you should be quite busy right now. Fulfilling all web orders, ensuring your inventory is stocked, shipping in time for Christmas and handling any customer service issues. If you aren’t busy, something is very wrong! I encourage you to take a step back and evaluate your online marketing efforts. This is pretty much “do or die time” for Ecommerce websites and also a huge opportunity to get a boost of revenue from holiday sales.

So how can you ensure that you’re doing all you can to maximize any holiday sales looming out there in cyber world? Here are a few tips that can be implemented rather quickly:

Send out an email blast to your client base with a captivating subject.
Examples: It’s Not Too Late To Shop For Xmas! There’s Still Time To Shop For Gifts! Beat The Cold With Free Shipping! Special Holiday Discounts For Repeat Customers! Free Gift Card With Every Purchase!

Offer an additional incentive within your Ad Copy. Examples: 15% Off, Free Shipping and Coupon Codes (which are a great way to lure visitors to your site and can be easily tracked) will make your ad copy stand out more.

Get the point? Don’t be left out in the cold by your competition. Check out what they are offering by doing some searching of your own. Your loyal customers deserve to get rewarded for their loyalty and everyone can use a little holiday cheer!

Happy Holidays!

December 22 2009

Tis the Season for Free Shipping and a Great Return Policy


With holiday shopping (hopefully) in full swing for retailers, I wanted to focus on two factors that can make or break an e-commerce site.  With competition growing every year, the days of fully paid shipping by the customer are going away.  During the holiday season, it is rare that you find e-commerce sites that do not offer free shipping.  At the very least, it is an incentive many websites offer to help you commit to that purchase by a certain date.

Another thing to remember is that your return policy can also influence a visitor’s decision to purchase from your website.  Depending on your product, the return policy can be a major selling feature or a major deterrent in getting visitors to follow through with their purchase.  In addition, the higher ticket items usually are viewed by online shoppers as higher risk purchases.  A clear, concise and fair return policy can go along way in removing any fears about making a large purchase online.  I was recently working with a client who sells furniture online and I asked them what they considered the best selling feature of their signature chair.  Their response was “if we can get someone to sit in the chair, they are sold”.  Well, that is great if they have a physical retail location…but they don’t.  There is no way to get someone to “sit in their chair” before they make the purchase online…so their return policy must be rock solid and their backing of the chair (no pun intended) must be unwavering.

We are in the middle of the busiest buying season of the year for most companies.  Online shoppers are getting assailed every day with “free” offers and incentives.  Be sure you are up to speed with your competition and make it as easy as possible for people to do business with your site.  Giving your customers a great deal is one thing, making them feel confident and comfortable about their purchase will keep them coming back.

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