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As the shopping environment is becoming more complicated, companies will have to negotiate compounding and growing multi-channel and multi-company “value poaching” challenges , illustrated by the following articles: In a 2003 Harvard...
Friction will need to come OUT of the retail experience for it to stay competitive. Showrooming is more about dissatisfaction with the retail experience as a desire to save. Showrooming is an active protest. No one showrooms the Apple store because the shopping experience is fun and traditional friction has been removed. Types of retail friction the Apple store destroyed:* LINES - no lines creates a perception of amazing service.* Brick and Mortar as classroom.
* Hang Out - all that free WiFi and cool stuff going on.
* Service Concern - Genius Bar resolved this.
* Bad Service - lots of PEOPLE to help who enjoy their jobs.
* No Deals - Apple doesn't let Amazon destroy their brand.
This last bullet is harder than it looks. Since Amazon plays the price arbitrage game better, on one single day a recent speaker at the Raleigh Internet Summit noted Amazon changed a price on a hot product 9 times, creating a "price match" that eliminates the advantage is key. The problem is Amazon uses its retail arm as lost leader to support profits from its partner network. This means it is willing to sell things, especially very HOT things, at or below cost.
As painful as it sounds to play a match game with an algorithm brick and mortar retailers must either get shelf talker/tags that are live to the net (coming don't kid yourself) OR create an "Amazon Price Match" promotion.
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Your website sucks.I’m sorry that I have to be the bearer of bad news, but someone had to tell you the truth.Your website is a crime against humanity, an atrocious abomination, a target for Godwin’s
Great list from a trusted source, Jeff Sauer. My favorite reasons Jeff notes why a website sucks include:#2. IT teams seek efficiency, marketing teams want traffic. Those two goals don't always play nice together. #5. Designers are another dangerous group to a website's ability to convert visitors into buyers. Designers are important partners, but have firm ideas about preferences for conversion over pretty pictures and recognize the difference. #6. You get what you pay for and no free or $10 site is going to sing, perform magic or help your mission critical online marketing much. Don't invade Russia in the winter (i.e. outspend your ROI), but don't think you can get anything worth anything for free either. Expertise is expensive, but you save money in the end because you spend less than having to redo the same work over and over again and make more. #11 We've all been to websites where there is no there, there. If you don't have a passion you want to share with the world don't create a website. Remember the web is a huge lie detecting amplifier. If you have cracks the web magnifies them. If you have flaws they are not up there on the big screen. Good news is everyone does, so an honest, passionate and real share has and will always work beautifully online (just not with a $10 designer or your mom's friend, friend). #14 Dedicated landing pages separates pros from everyone else. Those with more landing pages do exponentially better than those with fewer. That stat may not past Freakonomics muster, but the idea is sound. Create more landing pages dedicated to supporting a single PPC keyword with a solid offer and a clearly visible CTA (Call To Action).
Agree These Are Common SEO Mistakes Made By Merchants* Dupe Titles (not unique). * No Text On Category Splash Pages (easy one to blow).
* Product Descriptions That Lack Depth.I would add these 3:
* No keywords in title or keywords you win anyway (company name or brand). * No keywords in image anchor text (or too many keys).
* No "in-lline" divs promoting "Read More". That last one is a "trick" that secures engagement and spider attention by writing 500 or more words and then hiding most of the text behind a "read more" link. The content appears to the spider early and the spider skips right on by the "read more". Fix these 6 common ecommerce SEO mistakes NOW and you make more money on black Friday.
If you expect your website to sell your business, it's an e-Commerce website. Here are 5 laws to help make your website sell your business more effectively.
Looked to add a TOME to this post since I feel strongly about ecommerce advice (most of which sucks). Not so here, this is an excellent post with 5 great suggestions to improve your e-com's site's conversion (i.e. make more money):
#1 is so important. Make it EASY for your customer to BUY your STUFF!. Don't let your search for truth and beauty become an OBSTACLE to their satisfaction (as is so often the case). #5 is a favorite pet peeve. WHY do we have so much trouble TELLING people who visit our sites what we want them to do? I suspect about half the time the problem is the person creating the site doesn't know what they what their customers to do. DEADLY mistake that. Your visitors are giving you the most precious gift they can - their TIME. Least you can do is make it easy to know what to do (call me crazy lol).
Ecommerce Website Design For MacGuffinsIn film a "MacGuffin" is a plot device that helps move the story. Online McGuffins are expected "cost of poker" design and marketing elements whose absence hurts more than their presence helps. A web MacGuffin's job is to help move visitors on their journey to become buyers and advocates. Common Ecommerce MacGuffins Include:* Free Shipping. * Free FedEx Shipping for premium brands. * Email subscription boxes with VIP treatment for joiners. * Social share buttons. * Satisfaction Guarantee. While it is difficult to know what any individual site's MacGuffins should be since that is determined by their business vertical EVERY website, without exception, has at least one expected MacGuffin. Some website categories may have 5 to 10 expected MacGuffins. There are 5 rules for designing websites to create the trust and assurance MacGuffins provide:* Place MacGuffins where they can do the most good.* MucGuffins should be LARGE and IN CHARGE in easy to find.* You flaunt MacGuffin convention and "best practices" at your peril.
* Social Share buttons should be ubiquitous and use branded colors.* Create friendly easy to understand policies about things like "satisfaction guarantees" and then NEVER enforce them. Writing a more complete post about designing for website MacGuffins now and will share a link on Scoop.it when finished.
Why Ecommerce Marketing Is Broken & What To Do About It - Free White PaperWritten with +Phil Buckley +Jarrod Swart and team +Curagami our first free… - Martin W. Smith - Google+
Sprites is a free tool for creating beautiful animated infographics for the Web.
Keep searching for a good free infographic tool, that will make my "life" easier. Today, Sprites is tested :) Brand new app, so let's criticize. :D
Interesting variation on infographic creations.
With a good set of visual elements and built-in themes composing your infographic becomes super-easy.
The basic version of Sprites is absolutely free for everybody and all infographics are released under Creative Commons license.
Everything in Sprites is 100% HTML5-based and plugin-free. There's no Flash or any other proprietary technology used.
Sprites infographics utilize the newest responsive design techniques and should look good on pretty much any device.
We try to make Sprites infographics shine on as many platforms as possible. You can already try it on your iPhone and iPad.
ShopLocket is the easiest way to sell something online. No store to setup, no risk to get started. With ShopLocket selling something is just as easy as embedding a Youtube video. Simply create your product, embed it in your website, Facebook page, or blog post, and start selling!
As the web breaks apart thanks to social and mobile (see Future of Web Design Scoop http://sco.lt/74tLSD ) we will want to put commerce any and everywhere. Shoplocket makes that idea possible without all the Authorize.net pain. Cool #startup. ShopLocket + Square = world changes.
Creating a distributed content network with widgets is a vast blue ocean of low cost, high reward Internet marketing today. Won't be that way for long.
Ecommerce & The Next Million BucksThis post explains two critical ecommerce ideas:* Working in SCALE.* Diversifying Your Channel Marketing.Making a million online only takes 10% more effort and money than making $100K so always think in scale. Ask yourself where the next million bucks is going to come from then create a plan to get there (more on the plan when it isn't 2PM I promise). The other new ideas contained in this piece are about new marketing channels like the work we are doing on crowdfunding at our #startup http://www.crowdfunde.com. Diversified channel marketing doesn't get wiped out by the inevitable ups and downs of online channels. When your marketing is diversified you can sleep at night because you have the TOOLS need to recover WHEN (not if) things go BUMP in the night on one of your channels.
We asked experts from different regions of the digital marketing and eCommerce world this question: “What can an eCommerce store do to leverage social media to generate traffic and create new or recurring sales?The response we received was amazing. 43 experts gave us 75 different tips on leveraging social media to sell more, and we're sharing them all with you.
Social media and commerce don't have to be an oxymoron.
An in-depth look at seller performance systems on eBay and Amazon. How they work, why feedback matters, and how to be efficient at managing your reputation.
Great tips here on how to proactively mange reputation on eBay and Amazon. Don't limit your thinking to just these two platforms. These tips could help with your website too.
Marty Note - Rethinking Ecommerce & CrowdFundeI love it when we find supporting data for CrowdFunde our content marketing meets crowdfunding and social media startup. Here is Don Bradford from eBay making our point for us:
Problem: People are likelier to purchase something if their friends weigh in--but that's not easy to do on massive e-commerce sites.
Solution: EBay's new browser plug-in, Help Me Shop, lets users shop anywhere on the web and drag items into a separate window. Through Facebook, the user invites friends to give advice on the items they like best.
"As we spoke with our customers and really started analyzing their activity, we discovered that what they were doing was shopping in a social product life cycle: Things start out around inspiration and research--something that a friend shared with them, or something that an influencer had shared with them, whether it was on Twitter, Polyvore, Pinterest, or Svpply. They continue to connect with friends all the way to the point of purchase. And after the purchase, they can be a resource for other people shopping for the product. What makes Help Me Shop really powerful is that it goes beyond eBay's inventory. It's really about a social shopping experience that goes wherever I am and allows me to engage my friends in the shopping experience whenever I think it's useful."Emphasis mine###Our goals for http://www.crowdfunde.com is to make it easier for friends to weigh in (helps shoppers and retailers) and to own the social conversation. Own the conversation, own the traffic.
CrowdFunde & Content CuratorsWhen we started CrowdFunde, our startup to help B2C online retailers and B2B content marketers know how to use content to achieve their goals, we realized we would need a lot of help. As the tool took shape it was clear the guiding hand of a great content curator would be a CSF (Critical Success Factor). As we explained on CrowdFunde.com great content curators do three increasingly important things:
* Find next generation of trending content.* Fit seemingly disparate content into an evolving “jigsaw” of themed content curation.* Help readers, followers and other contributors understand macro concepts.
I've worked with great curators on Scoop.it and the POWER and PRESCIENCE of that experience is why discovering and hiring 10 great content curators (to start) is one of our most important "Launch Goals". The cool thing is, in many cases, we may be paying a hard working content curator to do what they love and what they are already doing for FREE. While no one is going to get rich on what our little startup can afford to pay there is a lot to be said for being part of a new company, a company dedicated to helping Internet marketers get to know their customers, be able to talk to and learn from their customers. If you are a great content curator we hope you will APPLY and share our search with your friends. Thanks, Marty and Phil APPLY http://form.jotform.us/form/40948367508162 LEARN MOREhttp://www.crowdfunde.com/top-curator-contest-crowdfunde-hiring/
I just received an email from a woman who had a bad experience with a photographer in Myrtle Beach, SC and left him a 2 star review. He is now threatening… - Martin W. Smith - Google+
Phil Buckley shared a post about how NOT to react to negative reviews. Reminded me of writing 5 Safety Tips for Social Media for @Kelly Hungerford and the Paper.li blog: http://community.paper.li/2012/08/06/5-social-media-marketing-safety-tips-part-1/ Got good to me so Kelly was nice enough to let me split an impossibly long post into two parts:http://community.paper.li/2012/08/09/5-social-media-marketing-safety-tips-part-2/ The post is linked to G+ where we are having an interesting conversation about how negative online is really positive.
Discover the hashtag tracking tools you need to make it easy to create, manage, track and report on social media hashtag campaigns.
Marty NoteI've always felt the #hashtag is a vastly underexploited secret weapon. One reason hashtags have been under exploited for their intense #BI (Business Intelligence) value is tools to easily understand them were lacking. Not so much anymore as this Social Media Examiner post shares. Why are hasthags secret weapons? Hashtags are and will always be too "quanty" to become mainstream. No matter how good the tool set you still have to have a math / model geek to help marketers understand implications and form actions. Imagine a model that understands existing benchmarks well enough to drive a push notification when a tag (and thereby the underlying content) is trending (i.e. its change delta is above some set number). What is the value of being first to surf that social wave? Could be millions Problem is wave knowledge rests with the Quants while surfing knowledge rests with marketers. You would think that is a needs based marriage made in heaven. Not so much since marketers don't know what they don't know and so can't ask and wave smart quants know WAVES not how to merchandise the wave into MONEY. Trust that our Startup Factory Funded startup Curagami is thinking about how to introduce wave smart quants to ecommerce surfing merchants ( http://www.curagami.com :). M
Old Ecommerce OVER, New Ecommerce ??I'm not sure I go all the way here. Our Curagami (@Curagami) #startup created a free white paper about Why Ecommerce Marketing Is Broken (http://www.curagami.com/e-commerce-marketing-broken-whitepaper/ ) and we see DATA as a CSF (Critical Success Factor) for SURE. Data without connection is a wish without fulfillment. That nit aside the IDEA of a more OBJECTIVE and FAST ecommerce future we agree with 100%. BTW, Team Curagami believes we need new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) too :).
Datos muy interesantes sobre comercio electrónico #infografia #infographic #ecommerce
No such thing as an "overnight success" online. Ecommerce requires listening, serving & creating great stuff people love & that takes time, money, courage. 5 Ecommerce Tips From Moon Audio:
“Designing your eCommerce store is not only about making it look good, but also making sure that it generates sales. Your goal is to make potential customers”
These are great #ecommerce tips? My favorite and perhaps easiest fix for the most benefit is big, clear and creative CALLS TO ACTION.
Startup PerkGot a great startup perk today. Was able to blog and Tweet from Moon Audio, our http://www.curagami.com beta partner in the hifi headphone space. Listening to their GEAR (Fostex headphones feed by Silver Dragon cables and a Astell & Kern player). Wow that sound is like cocaine for the ears. Great meeting on Moon's upcoming Music As A Movement year long celebration and had an amazing thought coming back to Durham - going to contact Jed Carlson at ReverbNation and see if we can work with them to create a fund to help bands.
In this highly competitive market, every e-commerce merchant is looking to make his website successful, which is not easily possible. In this blog, I have listed 3 easy ways to design such e-commerce site that maximize your sales. So, go through it!!
Ecommies - Identifying ecommerce trends, rate and review ecom tools and hold annual awards.
How do you build a website and marketplace to sell your products and services? Here are the 5 Best Companies for creating an eCommerce platform and marketplace.Scenttrail RatingsWe've built stores with three of these five recommendations. Each has its good points and bad. Each is perfect for some and not so good for others. Here are our ratings:
ShopLocketThey don't mention this option, but we love the idea of being able to add a shopping cart to any piece of content without paying a big hosting operation like the 5 mentioned. If your ecommerce needs are small and located in social take a look at https://www.shoplocket.com/ . CaveatWhen you are camped on someone's ground THEY will always gain more benefit than you. The chance of a Shopify store outranking Shopify.com is zero. This issue is only a big deal for stores greater than 50,000 Stock Keeping Units and/or greater than $10M in sales. If you think you will eventually sell $10M+ you may want to create your own store / site. If you think it will take 10 years to reach $10M Shopify may be your best bet for ROI and speed. The PAIN comes when you transfer OFF of their platform, but we can discuss that at another time. ShopifyWould be our first choice for most small to medium sized ecommerce implementations. The UI is clean and easy to understand. You can be up and running on Shopify in a matter of days. Inventory load is always the biggest pain and they have some ways around that.
Big CommerceSounds like Big Commerce fills the promotional hole we felt with Shopify. Most websites aren't very sophisticated in their coupons and promotions. If you are you will find Shopify limiting. Sounds like Big Commerce stepped in to fix the issue. And it can be a big issue since cross talk between offers and coupons can cause a train wreck. If you are sophisticated enough to make free shipping, % off and BOGO offers you may want to use Big Commerce. VolusionI wasn't wild about Volusion, but can't remember why. The security stuff the review mentions is marginally important. If you need highly secure ecommerce maybe they are better, but their inner-workings didn't seem as friendly as Shopify or as promotional savvy as Big Commerce. Magento GOI built our Story of Cancer store (now down) on Go and was impressed with the powerful business rules they include. Less than 10% of ecommerce sites need such power, but if you do Magento Go is probably your best bet. This is the power to say on a rainy Wednesday you want the price on yellow tops to be down10% when pared with shoes A, B or C. The cross-sale and up-sale wigets are powerful. The promotion, free shipping and coupons are powerful (once you figure out the convoluted logic and that problem is endemic). Presta ShopI don't know this option and am suspicious of FREE. Free is a risk because things go BUMP in the night on ecom sites. If you aren't a techie or don't have a techie working for you its good to have someone to call or email in an emergency like if you are bleeding personal information all over the web (say for an example lol). My concern here would be can the code keep up with needed changes (since how do they make money) and is it secure since security thanks to crazed hackers can be a real moveable feast (and I only meant "crazed hackers" in the nicest of ways so to do or say otherwise risks a "just because" attack, you know the attacks they launch just because they can).
Forbes The Simple Truth About SEO Forbes A couple weeks ago, I got a call from one of our portfolio company's CEOs, who was frustrated by his confusion around SEO. He felt like he just couldn't get a straight answer.
Agree with @Marilyn Moran SEO is many things "simple" not the first idea that jumps to mind. Realize the Forbes writer thinks he can make SEO "simple" for the C-level and maybe he does in the sense that they know SEO exists, but based on this article they have no capacity to DRIVE there themselves.
Problem with this web stuff is if you half to pay me or my tribe to interpret for you you've done two bad things at once - * Doubled or more your content marketing costs.
* Become dependent. We have to fish for you forever. For example, I love this line, " but 90 percent is merely about consistently doing what feels natural and testing." I heard the process of SEO and testing defined better by Tobias Walter from @Shoeboxed team at Triangle Startup Factory today:Traffic, Conversion, Revenue (TCR)The big idea is those three ideas are connected . Biggest impact comes from working on one at a time. First you increase traffic. Once that goal is achieved you work on increasing conversion. Once that goal is bet you increase revenue. Once you've made the turn through all three you go around the horn again rinsing and repeating ad infinitum. Much better explanation and more true to my experience as a Director of Ecommerce fo 7 years ( mad $30M+, AOV never over $62) and then Director of Marketing for an agency for 2 years (Klout up 292% and 2 record years). When isolating the three key ideas of TCR (Traffic Conversion Revenue) from each other you don't get wound up in the wrong conversation. Yes you can attempt to knock down traffic and conversion at once. Chances are you will die trying or drown in attribution. Better to isolate, improve and then circle around again. Much more CLEAR explanation of SEO At Triangle Startup Factory today by Tobias Walter from Shoeboxed. We won't have to fish for Tobias or the Shoeboxed team any day soon :). Marty
I beg to differ on this article, slightly. SEO is anything BUT simple. Let's face it; it takes work. You can't just create a website and expect it to magically appear on page one especially if you have competition. :)
Cart Abandonment - An Easy Way To Recover A Million BucksGreat tips here on how to reduce shopping cart abandonment including:* Reason #1: Lengthy registration forms* Reason #2: Single channel experiences* Reason #3: Sheer timingThat last one can be a real killer. People want to know their costs so they test the cart. Finding ways to add information about shipping upstream can reduce cart abandonment.