Archives for shopping

Tips to Create Effective eCommerce

Opening an eCommerce site is not the extensive hoop-jumping experience it used to be. Online payment sites like Paypal, Google Checkout and advances in the online commerce environment have standardized web shopping. Now anyone with a dollar and a dream can set up an eCommerce business and be competitive. If you’re looking for your slice of the pie, here are a few items every web vendor should know about the business.

Clean web design

Make sure your site has a good look to it. Not only is good web design a good idea for any site, but it usually makes the user experience better. If anyone is having a hard time navigating your store, you can’t expect him or her to want to stay there. A clean, accessible easy-to-navigate site is more likely to increase conversion and reflect highly on your brand. If you need to contract a web design company to achieve this, spare no expense. A slapdash effort will yield poor results. There are many places for people to shop on the web; your store doesn’t have to be the one they choose.

Business Partnerships

Building relationships with other businesses is paramount to developing your online store. More often than not, you will need to hire in another company to handle at least one aspect of your business, whether it’s partnering with an order fulfillment company, or interfacing with a server manager to ensure usability of the website. Look at it like being part of a team; you all help each other out. They can’t do it alone either.

Planning your Catalog

The best eStores look like they were effortlessly put together, however, that is usually an indicator that countless hours were put into the design and execution. Before you launch your store, plan your catalog, separating items out into categories and subcategories. This entails knowing what you’ll be selling in the first place. The success of your store depends heavily on the quality of your product catalog. Creative and logical linking from one item to others is also important (i.e. “Other suggestions” or “People who looked at this also bought…”)

Ensure that the title tags of each item to match up with terms that people search for. If you sell black boots and the title tag reads “Black Boots,”it is more likely your item will show up in a search for (you guessed it) “black boots” than if you titled the tag, “combat footwear”, though you may receive a whole different demographic of web searchers who are into combat footwear.

Opt for Off the Shelf Rather than Custom Development

It’s easy to get really excited about opening your first eStore and it’s only natural to want to do it right. Oftentimes, in order to stand out, vendors will want to contract custom development of the store, adding commodity functions (shopping cart management tools, product merchandising, etc.), but unless you are a huge retailer (Amazon, eBay, etc.) these tools will cost you lots of money and add very little to the user experience. There are a number of ecommerce applications you can purchase on the web. Many are open source, which allows you to have a element of control over the final product rather than submitting completely to a template.

Top 7 Ways to Use Cyber Monday to Grow your Social Media & Make the Sale

What could be bigger than Black Friday?  Cyber Monday.  This has been the Internet’s alternative to the biggest shopping day of the year.  However, the popularity and reach of social media has the potential to really make Cyber Monday a huge selling phenomenon.

From a business perspective this is an excellent way to work on your social media efficacy.

  1. Promote your promotions!

    Tell people that you are going to offer special deals just for Twitter and Facebook. Build the buzz around what you are going to do.

  2. Use your upcoming deals as a way to grow your network.

    Tell people to spread the word. Use growth benchmarks to give special secret deals, like “When I hit 500 fans I will give away a ….”

  3. Exclusive Deals

    On Monday, offer special deals that are only available on Facebook and Twitter.

  4. Post deals constantly throughout the day.

    This will encourage people to stay tuned to your updates. You can even schedule these tweets so they keep coming on a regular basis and you can focus on engaging with your new and massively growing network!

  5. Set up an auto-DM

    Create a one day direct message that sends a promo code to new followers….and promote the fact that you are doing this.

  6. Re-Tweet Promotions

    Tell your followers that you will do a special giveaway to the people who retweet your offers.

  7. Get people to blog about you

    Tell people if they blog about your deals and your business that you will give them a special deal or promo code that will last beyond Cyber Monday.  This way you carry your promotions longer.  You can even promote that between your Cyber Monday promotions on Monday!

Shop till you Tweet!…Black Friday on social media

Twitter bird tweeting the dollar sign

Black Friday is notoriously the biggest shopping day of the year and social media will not be excluded as a participant. But how is social media promoting it? Black Friday ads, Black Friday sales, Black Friday shopping! Are you shopping your tweets? Tweeting your shopping?

All you have to do is search “Black Friday” and you will see all the websites that are collecting sales information to become your personal Black Friday clearing house.  However, websites are not the only way you can learn about the special deals.  In fact, they might not even be the best way.

The best way to find some of the Black Friday deals might just be through Facebook and Twitter.

Many storeslike Staples and Walmart have been leaking their Black Friday deals over Twitter and Facebook for days, getting their friends and followers primed for shopping deal bonanzas.

If you search #blackfriday you will find an unending stream of tweets about deals and savings you can find online and in stores.  There is even a twitter account that is streaming Black Friday deals from all over the web and the twitterverse, @blackfriday.

If you do a search on Facebook for Black Friday you will not only find some pages that are listing sales but you will see what  Black Friday posts your friends are making.  This is actually a great way to see what deals your friends are sharing and what deals the pages you like are offering,

Many pages have been posting Black Friday deals, but because of the newsfeed optimization, or the time you get on your facebook, there are posts you might be missing.  Do a search for Black Friday and see what your friends and the pages you like have been offering.

If you are up for a shopping excursion, this may be the best way to find the best deals that are actually relevant to you.

Of course, outside of access to really cool deals, this is a great opportunity as a business to expand your reach and test your marketing.  Offering deals to twitter and Facebook fans is a great way to grow your network and test the efficacy of your reach.

…and if you didn’t do it for Black Friday you still have time for Cyber Monday!