Articles in The 'amazon' Tag

November 16 2010

Internet Privacy

by MoreVisibility

In the past couple of months, the press has been busy dissecting privacy concerns related to online browsing activities.  One can find numerous articles documenting how cookies are leveraged and deployed by website operators and ad networks in order to efficiently manage ads.  We have seen articles alerting us to be vigilant on what we share about ourselves on the popular social networks, and to always assume the default privacy setting will be to allow access rather than to deny access.  I am in complete agreement with the authors of these stories on social networks privacy settings, and will always review my settings upon learning about a new feature being deployed.

This past week a story broke concerning the Obama administration’s plan to add a privacy watchdog task force to help control the exploitation of consumer data being gathered on the internet.  Throughout history we have experienced advances in communication networks and, one can argue, the increased quality of life they provide.  Starting with the telegraph up to today’s networks, the entrepreneurial leaders that provided these innovations were rewarded with an initial competitive advantage.  The “free for all” climates these communication innovations generated provided the spark to subsequent economic expansion.  History has proven that eventually this “free for all” climate, results in monopolies, which are then regulated and ultimately broken up.

I look back to the late 1990s and realize we have seen a few search engines come and go, AltaVista, Excite, HotBot, Lycos, and wonder how long before regulatory steps are taken to prevent Google from becoming a search monopoly, or Facebook from being ruled a social network monopoly or Amazon as an auction monopoly.

December 22 2009

Tis the Season for Free Shipping and a Great Return Policy

by Gerard Tollefsen

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.

January 28 2009

Which Search Engine is the Right Fit?

by Marni Weinberg

More often than not, clients (especially those brand new to MoreVisibility) ask which search engine they should allocate their online marketing dollars toward.   Right out of the gate, many will say they want to focus solely on Google.  This is understandable given that Google holds anywhere from 65 to 70% of the market share; depending on which publication you read. Although no one can argue that Google is most widely used, there are a myriad of other channels worth considering.

So how do you know which engine is the right fit for you? It’s all about testing, testing and yes, more testing. Some clients perform better in Yahoo versus Google. Others experience a much higher ROI in MSN and a large majority of Ecommerce websites tend to do quite well in shopping portals like Amazon, Biz Rate and Shopzilla. It is advisable not to limit your online marketing initiatives to just one channel. Every search engine offers certain advantages, based on factors such as age, gender, demographics, etc. When creating a search engine marketing campaign, the preferred strategy is to take certain steps to achieve a more favorable result. These steps include, but are not limited to the following:

Budget – Determine an approximate monthly budget you wish to target. Keep in mind that this figure can change based on your results. Once you have the ability to gauge your progress (hint hint, I am referring to testing again), it will be much easier to choose which engine to spend the majority of your budget.

Bidding Strategy — Not all search engines are created equal; bid prices can vary depending on engine, industry and overall competition. 

Keyword Research – It is mission critical to take the time to research keywords for trends, competitiveness and volume. Certain keywords perform better in some engines than others. One word phrases are too generic and therefore, not often recommended.  The more targeted the phrase, the more targeted the searcher.

Testing — I am not trying to beat a dead horse, but you must analyze your results. Otherwise, you could be spending good money on top of bad money. Every dollar counts, specifically in today’s tough economy. Utilizing an Analytics Tool is essential and will afford you the ability to make educated decisions with respect to your online efforts. MoreVisibility utilizes Google Analytics (GA) and continues to source GA on behalf of our clients.

The morale of this blog? Expand your (online) horizons. Just because Google is dominating the market does not mean that your site will not also perform well in other engines. Get your hands dirty! Test out a few engines and take advantage of how robust and comprehensive analytics tools are today.  You will find the right potion for your site; you just need to figure out the right ingredients!

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