E-commerce Tag

2009 Online Holiday Shopping Ends High

falling-moneyThe numbers are in from the 2009 online holiday shopping season, and it could be a good sign for the economy.  In the report from comScore, the e-commerce industry faired better than the same time in 2008. 

“During [November 1- December 24], approximately $27 Billion was spent online, which represents an increase of 5 percent over the same period a year ago,” said the comScore Press Release. For the period from Black Friday through Christmas Eve, and after adjusting for the additional shopping day in 2009, sales grew by approximately 3.5 percent.” (more…)

Commerce Search From Google Helps Online Businesses

googlemoneyGoogle has released yet another new feature that should help with online businesses.  Earlier this week, Google announced a new Google Checkout feature, which allows users to enable a checkout button on the site to promote sales. Now, the Google Commerce Search tool will be useful for online businesses by improving product searches on their site, along with possibly increasing sales and reducing bounce rates.  The search is almost identical to Google’s main search, but it’s geared specifically toward business websites. The idea is to help find products being sold.  Google is expecting the tool to grow significantly in the new few weeks, as businesses prepare for the upcoming holiday season.

“Visitors spend an average of just eight seconds before deciding whether or not to remain on a website,” a Google rep said.  “So having a good search tool is important for turning visitors into buyers.” (more…)

This Week In Social Media – November 6, 2009

This Week in Social Media – Nov 6, 2009 iePlexus from iePlexus on Vimeo.

This Week in Social Media – Nov 6, 2009 iePlexus from iePlexus on Vimeo.

Here’s a look at some of what happened this week in the world of social media and elsewhere on the Web.

-It should be no shock that MySpace is losing users, but now the company is in jeopardy of losing nearly $100 million.  In 2006, MySpace made a $900 million deal with Google that would allow the search engine to be the exclusive search advertiser on MySpace, which at the time was the most used social networking site.  The site is coming dangerously close to maintaining a minimum traffic level, which could break the deal with Google. In the past three months, MySpace’s page views have dropped 22.75 percent.  (more…)

Psychology Your Way Into Sales

It’s no surprise that humans react in odd and irrational ways, particularly when it comes to spending money. To that end, Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions, offers many insightful lessons into the quirky (and largely predictable) human psyche. And in turn, these lessons may help web businesses shape their image and behaviors in order to garner as many sales as possible and become a successful online destination. Here are some important aspects of online sales tactics to consider when running an e-commerce or service-oriented business:

Relativity
It turns out Einstein knew what he was talking about—relativity does matter. Although this kind of relativity isn’t exactly what the theoretical physicist had in mind, there is something to be said for comparing your products to others. When products are offered in a standard and deluxe version, the standard version suddenly looks like a bargain and tends to sell. Create instant price comparisons on your site, and people are less likely to leave the site to shop around.
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You Better Not Cry, Cyber Monday Is Coming to Town

Most holiday-crazed shoppers are familiar with the term “Black Friday.” But for those out-of-the-loop consumers, it’s the first Friday after Thanksgiving, and it marks the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season. Not as many people, however, are familiar with the altogether newer term “Cyber Monday.” While Black Friday demarcates the beginning of shopping in brick and mortar stores, Cyber Monday – the Monday following Black Friday – is an indication of when online shopping picks up for the season.

And whether you’re a shopper or the founder of an online business, here’s what to expect from Cyber Monday:
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Blog Marketing for Business

I’ve talked before about the incredible adaption and utilization of blogs in the business world. From Fortune 500 companies and corporations to small businesses just starting out, blogs have made the business world stand up and take notice. In June of this year, I wrote about the BusinessWeek article that followed up on the original groundbreaking story that introduced much of the business world to blogs back in 2005. Business Blogs and Beyond talked about the significant changes in the marketing landscape, and how social media, blogs and other forms of Web 2.0 marketing have opened up the doors to advertising on all fronts, harnessing the ability to connect with customers on levels that were never before possible.

The articles and accolades for marketing with business blogs haven’t stopped. Instead, blogs have become the #1 necessity for business owners looking for affordable, effective marketing that can deliver even in a questionable economy. Recently, Entrepreneur Magazine published an article about getting your business noticed at a minimal cost. Their #1 suggestion was blogs. From the article: “Set up a blog … and begin writing interesting commentary that relates to your business, says Hager. To drive traffic, comment on other topic-related blogs and include links back to your own blog.” Further down the list, they mention “Exploiting the Web” as number 17. This suggestion includes utilizing social media sites like delicious.com and digg.com to advertise and market products or services.
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Design Matters

Being what I consider an industry veteran (I’ve been building and marketing websites since 1998), there’s always been one constant that separates the successful sites from those that fail: good design. It’s not the only rule to abide by, but it has very few exceptions. With the plethora of content management systems and website templates out there, it still baffles me that site owners don’t take advantage of these resources and still expect their sub-par design to have a chance against competition. I don’t claim to be the expert on this topic, but I certainly can spot a website where the owner has taken the time to consider form, function and presentation versus one that has enlisted cousin Jim, who’s a “webmaster,” to put together a company’s internet presence. Sure, saving a few bucks on a designer seems like a good idea, until you realize that the only traffic you receive is from a link in the design hall of shame (see this digg and this website). No where is this commandment of good design necessary than in e-commerce. When your site’s main purpose is to convert visitors into sales, a good design can be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and a poor one can stifle even the best marketing. Let’s look at some components of good and bad web design in the e-commerce industry:
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What is Web 2.0?

When it comes to internet marketing, Web 2.0 has redefined the rules. Every fundamental aspect of owning an online business now must incorporate this concept to ensure the potential for positive results. The days of building a site and optimizing it for search engine results are over; there’s someone else who already did that and is moving forward with the next step in their campaign. To win the race, we’ve got to outthink our competitor and outperform them online. To accomplish that, we have to understand the newest concepts in marketing and embrace them as our own. Enter Web 2.0, the natural evolvement of the web and the information within it.

That being said, let’s take a step back. What is Web 2.0? What does it mean and how does it affect marketing and e-commerce? Unfortunately, a concise definition of Web 2.0 has yet to be realized, mostly because it’s an idea that’s still being debated. Wikipedia is the most comprehensive source out there, but it leaves something out in terms of what impact it has had and why it’s important to us.  Let’s start by attempting a simple, understandable definition for our purposes.

What is Web 2.0?

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New Study: Social Media Important In Buying Decision

Online BuyingMost businesses are just starting to figure out how to get their feet wet with social media. From managing an attractive, trustworthy identity in social networking sites to getting their product and company information posted in social bookmarking sites, this part of a marketing campaign usually takes a back seat to what businesses consider the more immediate concerns, statistics like traffic, sales and conversions. But a new study shows that consumers are using social media more than ever to do research on a company and their reputation before buying, and businesses better start listening, responding and improving if they want to compete in a Web 2.0 marketplace.
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What Your Customers Want

Online ShoppingGetting inside the head of an e-commerce shopper can be a daunting task. There are many variables when it comes to the question of conversions; including product cost, professionalism of your website, shipping factors, payment options and much more. With the rise of e-commerce comes increased competition. Don’t think that your customers won’t search out your exact same product on your competitors site to find the lowest cost. With seemingly endless availability, how can you ensure your business gets the attention and the customers it needs to survive?
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