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I will start from the very basic and then go into advanced topic of how exactly e-commerce tracking code interacts with Google Analytics and how you can resolve various e-commerce tracking issues.
Solid tips and explanations here begins with basics and works into more complex ecom metrics.
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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.
3 Optimization Tips for Increasing Your Average Order ValueBusiness 2 CommunityOne case study highlight by KISSMetrics suggests that upselling may be 20x more effective for eCommerce that cross-selling.Marty NoteI've used all three of these ideas when I was a Director of Ecommerce. My favorite was trigger point free shipping. We did extensive testing and never say less than a 40% increase over our Free Shipping target. If we set a $60 target our AOV (Average Order Value) was right at 100. We did see order growth slow the higher up the target. Our AOV ws $63 so raising our target to $75 pushed AOV up but decreased order volume. Without Free Shipping our AOV dropped into the fifties so we more than covered the cost of the offer with the additional $40 we gained. Unique merchandising can cut out price comparison so liked that tactic for that reason. Cross-Selling is a great idea to move AOV up and increase your profit mix. If you have a private label where your margins are higher and you can move conversions to it do so. If you have products whose close rate is great use those. When you up-sale be careful of doing so in the cart. The cart can be great for up-sale if you do so gingerly and efficiently i.e.without any additional worry or work. When your customers want to give you money first rule of ecommerce is take it.
In this article, we’ll walk through all of the vital steps when planning a highly converting mobile e-commerce website. The most important questions you need to ask are...
Love the "ditch digging" specifics of this post. Mobile conversion seems mystery wrapped in enigma to me, so this post is beyond helpful.
Best Online Store Option For YOU?I've used Magento Go and Shopify. I've also used other Content Management Systems when I managed an Ecom team (for 7 years) including home grown and Magento enterprise. If you want to start an online store which platform should you use? Let's look at a feature by feature comparison:Easy To Use - Winner ShopifyPlugin / Add On Development - Winner Magento Go Email Integration - Tie (both work well with MailChip et al)SEO - Magento Go if you KNOW SEO, Shopify if you don't
Promotion - Magento Go if you KNOW ecom, Shopify if you don'tManage SKUs - Tie up to about 50,000 after than NEITHER (you've outgrown OPP Other People's Platform if you have more than 50,000 unique stock keeping units SKUs). Cart - backend Magento Go (can do more with logic so ASSUMES you know how to create business rule promotions) frontend (what customer sees) Shopify.Templates - Tie Pretzel Logic - Magento Go (winning this is not a good thing since it means the platform has its own language YOU must learn or things go bump in the night. Magento Go is willing to be confusing and a pain to add POWER, but 95% will never use that power so if you have a small, fun store steer clear).
Cross Sale / UpSaleSlight nod to Magento Go again assumes you know ECOM well and cross merchandising is not intuitive but is powerful. Overall Winner - Shopify For most readers of this post Shopify is the best choice. Magento Go honorable mentionfor a specialized niche group that needs powerful business rule based promotion, have between 30k to 50k SKUs and don't mind learning a new language to get the backend power they need Magento Go may be for you.. If you don't know your crosssale (what you do on a product page to move customers to more profitable or popular choices) or upsale (what you do in the car to build Average Order Value (AOV) then use SHOPIFY.
Great post Marty!
4 eCommerce packaging trends that we will see in 2014. Discover different companies that are using their packaging with additional value to sell more.
Here is my take:Green Packaging (unless the supply chain has gotten vastly better I don't agree. If mainstream packaging suppliers are offering green alternatives that are price competitive a smart ecom site could riff marketing value greater than the cost. 2nd Life Packaging - this is an interesting trend. Think of it as can you easy include instructions on making something new from your packaging. If you can then instead of one and done you packing and may have a longer shelf life right along with your marketing message. Longer YOUR packing is in THEIR home and not the landfill the better. Functional packaging - much like the last trend creating packaging that helps solve pain points is good for branding. Mixing and Matching packaging concepts - selling baby clothes in sushi packaging and so making your brand and line of baby clothes more "purple".
One of the most important elements of email marketing is writing subject lines that get people to open your emails.
My favorite is #4 TELL don't SELL. Other solid email marketing tips in this deck. I would add:* Never one than one thing unless NEWSLETTER.
* Ask a question in our subject you partially answer in the email (their tip #5).
* Always include social share button in prominent position.
* Always include a "can't see" URL as that promotes social shares too. * Always have a LIVE FROM address not "NoResponse@YourURL ...but you must monitor responses too.
If you've been using email marketing, chances are you're already familiar with some if these. But I'm sure you'll also find new ones and it's a good checklist for inspiration to have available for your next campaign.
Great article, especially for educators. I think a lot of students don't read our emails either, because the titles sound so boring!
At AddShoppers we have been busy number crunching. “Why?” We wanted to help eCommerce store owners and social experts understand a monetary value for soc
Wow, helpful stats for pitching the "new ecom" to the c-level here.
Learn how web design can affect your brain when you see these:
- Testimonials - Endorsements - Social media shares - Social media widgets - Trust seals - Numbers of Happy Customers - Most Popular Best Seller - Studies and Stats - As Seen in Press Mentions - Reviews - Plans and Pricing Pages - Limited Supply - Early Bird Registration, Countdown Clocks - Trial periods, free samples - Colors and action
It's fascinating. Click for details and examples.
"Remember, 100% of your target audience has brains. B2B or B2C, lead generation, or ecommerce, it doesn’t matter. Keep those brains in mind in your marketing. And as consumers, we should be aware of how marketers are taking advantage of our own biases."
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Love "neuromarketing" and of the tactics Peg mentions I've used:* Testimonials. & Endorsements.* Social Media.* Trust Seals.* Counters and thermometers (numbers of happy customers).* Best Sellers (one of my favs). * As Seen In mentions (loved it when Oprah got anywhere near our stuff). * REVIEWS (very important). * Plans and pricing (or shipping) page especially at holidays. * Limited supply and EXCLUSIVE.
* Deadlines, free trail, gifts with purchase. So great list and Scoop by @Peg Corwin.
Marketing driven commerce is about engaging your customers whenever and wherever they are. Get started in creating new marketing strategies and optimizing current ones with guidance from these white p
Excellent ecommerce white paper from Bronto my favorite email marketing tool. Trends include:* Mobile Pushes desktop to the side.* Content is KING but focus is Queen.* Retargeting works but know when to stop.
* Value comes from relevance. * Beware of ISPs & online services bearing gifts.
* Automation is your friend, but don't forget PEOPLE. Excellent report especially on mobile and how mobile is changing everything.
All you need to know about repricing on Amazon and eBay: how to get started, differences between marketplaces, the "race to the bottom" and repricing tools. Marty Note Price arbitrage is TOUGH. If you are an online merchant you need to stay within reaching distance of Amazon or lose more than a sale - you can lose credibility too. You can't beat Amazon, but there are great tools in this post that will help you "price arbitrage" too. If you are on online merchant, you need to read this post since PRICE is more than PRICE. Price helps create your online brand too. Here are strategies I used to defeat the Amazon price arbitrage monster: * Created merchandising bundles that were unique to us. * Made sure to check Amazon in 3 ways (front door, email and price comparison engines). * Hired Scott Wingo's company Channel Advisor to help structure feeds. * Gave free gifts with each purchase. Hope you can find ways to beat the monster too.
This infographic from WisePricer digs into the data around showrooming and provides some great tips on how SMBs can fight the trend in store and online. (If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you are probably painfully aware of showrooming.
Smart web-only merchants WANT showrooming. Let THEM (bricks and mortar) carry costs and you (online merchant) get sales. If I still ran an Ecommerce website there would be Showrooming Tips all over (lol).
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/
Compare Local Dealer New Car Prices to invoice price and MSRP. Get the best deals on new 2013/2014/2015 cars w/ a No-obligation Quote Today!
Marty NoteWhen an experience is so LOUSY apps like TrueCar are invented so we can avoid it those perpetuating the fraud must ask themselves what is wrong with this picture. In fact, the picture is upside down for car dealers too. Car dealers don't make any money when you buy a car. The car dealer's profit is in the RELATIONSHIP. The tiny amount of money they make from selling a new car is dwarfed by the money they make from servicing your car. This means cars are really SUBSCRIPTIONS. If a car is really a "service subscription" why can' I negotiate the subscription instead of the purchase of the car? Why doesn't my Nissan dealer GIVE me a car in exchange for my legal promise to have them care for it? Car dealers are selling THE WRONG THING. They think we still think about cars the way our parents did - cars as extension of self. Not so much anymore. Cars don't define us, but modern life is difficult without them. Let's put aside the big question about why our lives depend on gasoline powered cars and ask the startup question - why isn't someone reinventing the car business based on what we really need - service. The "car facts" we should be researching are how much does car X cost to maintain vs. car Y. The "subscription" we should be buying is based on the car's "up time" and costs per mile of use. I'm sharing True Car in my Startup Revolution Scoop.it as a call to startup arms. Surely someone reading this note can see how easy, profitable and doable turning an entire category on its ear would be? Why aren't we giving cars away free and negotiating the subscription that matters? Hope someone reading this will pick up the torch. re: costs of owning a car $9,000 a yearhttp://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/16/aaa-car-ownership-costs/2070397/
“Why are customer journey mapping and process design so important to the customer experience - and how do they differ? Andy Green explains. (Customer journey mapping vs process design: Do you know the difference?”
When I read Dov Seidman's book HOW: Why How You Do Anything Means Everything "customer journey" wasn't something anyone talked about. I love that we are talking about "customer journeys" now and this post helps distinguish between process engineering and mapping a hero's journey.
Marty NoteMy Curatti.com post this week is 8 Tips on Visual Marketing from Vogue.. Visual marketing is dominating in 2014. I'm searching for the top 10 visual marketing websites and know GoRuck is going to be one of them. Ecommerce is difficult. Too much visual and not enough conversion and you can't afford your hosting fees. Too much visual and not enough storytelling and you can't afford your credit card gateway. GoRuck strikes an amazing balance. Their Pinterest-like grid tells an amazing story. Check out GoRuck and share your favorite visual marketing websites. Single BONE to PickGoRuck follows a tiny number of their followers. This is a favorite pet peeve of mine. Hey GoRuck if you are reading this Social Media is about being SOCIAL and we can't communicate on Twitter if you don't follow us. GoRuck is sending the WRONG anti-social signal, or a signal dissonant from their "we are all in this together" look and feel. Don't make their mistake, follow worthy people that follow you. If your following is below 50% I would LOVE to hear why.
A blog about ecommerce marketing, running an online business and updates to Shopify's ecommerce community.Great Peg Corwin Insight
Creative ways that ecommerce sites are using content marketing:
- Make how to videos
- Answer FAQs in clever ways
- Use photos
- Get a blog and be a media outlet
- Stay in the know
Quote: "Content. It’s the material you create to inspire existing customers and the audience you hope to reach (your next customers are out there somewhere!) Ecommerce sites across the web are taking advantage of content’s power."
If you like this scoop, please consider a thumbs up or share.Marty NoteWhen I was a Director of Ecommerce I LOVED #contentmarketing, but it rarely loved us back (lol). An ecommerce site is divided between right brain creative (buy) and left brain engineering (Q&A, content marketing). The more content we put on a product page the worse it converted. Video and reviews were the single exceptions and videos took some serious tweaking until we got it right (short, product as hero, VO narration, show the product working and bring in review summary from our Buzz Team). Never forget the first 5 minute video we testing with a hard rock score that was WAY too loud. I could watch conversions tank in real time (advantage of having 14,000 unique visitors a day). That video lasted less than a day, but it taught us to shorten and quiet our content. Eventually we found a formula that put new life in best sellers and rocketed any product with momentum. Video wasn't a miracle worker. When we tried to rehabilitate a product long gone from the Best Seller list video alone wasn't sufficient. Big Trend Train Running - CONTEXTAs I was leaving Ecommerce three years ago context was starting to play an increasing rule in the increasingly visual language we needed to speak. Saw a great example of this in the DWR.com catalog. The Design Within Reach Catalog features a Food Truck with DWR chairs, shelving and lighting. Amazing how much more interesting these "high design" products looked in a real world setting. DRW.com is so Bauhaus WHITE it hurts the eyes and the pretension can be a bit much. Buy mixing high and low art the FUN factor goes up 10x and their products LOOKED LIKE something you might want in you home (instead of an operating theater lol). One of the BIG implications of our visual marketing trend is more relevant context like DWR's food truck meets the Bauhaus two page spread. BIG MISS by DWR for not sharing that print spread online. MISS by Fox Restaurants creators of the wood fired pizza food truck called the ROCKET (picture above) too since a page about their DWR shoot would have earned social shares, praise and UGC (User Generated Content). A cool food company like http://www.foxrc.com should know better!
Small design tweaks to an eCommerce website can make a BIG difference. Let’s take a look at what tweaks you can make to convert visitors into buyers.
Like these tips and have used several of them as a Director of Ecommerce. My favorite is bread crumbs to clearly map the check out progress. The more "in flight" awareness you create smoother the landing (i.e. conversion).
Small tweaks to an ecommerce website can make a BIG difference to your BOTTOM LINE. So, make the tweaks that you feel are most appropriate for your online store to increase more sales. Take a look at seven shopping cart tweaks that helps you to convert visitors into buyers.
From tweets to posts and even likes, this webinar covers the basics of social media marketing. Learn how your peers are leveraging social media in their practices and hear what works - and what doesn't.Marty Note
Received an email I can't show you other than the graphic from CIO White Papers that points to some easy things to change to make your email marketing more effective. The link on this post goes to the "landing page" presented after clicking on the Call To Action (Click Here To Read This Report Now) button on the email. The landing page is confusing. I couldn't figure out how to either share my information or get the report and who has the time to figure out YOUR landing page? A: No One!Tip #1: Make your FORM easy to fill out and only ask for things you REALLY need (name, email). I can't share the email because there is no social share widgets and there isn't a "Can't see this email, see it on the web" option. Always include social share widgets above the fold and include a server based email URL since that is what most publishers will share. Tip #2: Always include a server URL and social share widgets.
I love the size of the Call-to-Action (CTA), but blue copy on orange wouldn't be my first choice since it makes the button hard to read. Tip #3: Big CTAs with clearly contrasting colors. The email, the one I can't show you because there is no URL, goes on and on and on. Never do that. Never share more than a single idea in an email. No one reads your emails the way you do. People have LIVES and when you put 8 things in an email with a long scroll you look out of touch with real people. Not a good thing. Tip #4: Never market more than one thing in an email. The subject line lives within my 7 word rule "
Saavy Social Media: From Facebook to TwitterNot a bad subject line except for the spelling. Ouch! Little things undercut credibility. Little things like a site called CIO White Papers misspelling savvy.Tip #5: Check Your Spelling before you mail 50,000 people.
5 Consejos fáciles para mejorar tu Email Marketing.
Consejos que ayudarán a tu email marketing a romper la barrera cada vez más artificial entre el social media marketing y el email marketing.
Old Ecommerce Is Dead, Hail New EcommerceDr. Dobb'sSellvana is a new, open source ecommerce solution newly announced this week as a project offering a limited preview to developers.
A new Magento that develops faster (and hopefully serves faster) would be cool. Magento has been rolling up major ecommerce websites for the last few years. Problem is for all of Magento's amazing business rules (the math that powers special offers online) it is slow and HEAVY. No doubt we will solve "the new ecommerce" with open source and great to have an AVIS to Magento's Hertz.
For this post I've pulled together a big list – a very big list – of the top 1,000 eBay sellers worldwide. Who do you think comes out on top?
What makes an Ebay seller TOPS?Here is what they sell:
1Phones & Accessories1732Clothing, Shoes & Accessories1383Home & Garden1324Jewelry & Watches1115Auto Parts706Computers577Business & Industrial528Books449Crafts3410Toys & Hobbies29
Top US Ebay sellers?Eforcity
Lots of media sellers (movies and books in the top. Great question in the comments asking if those businesses are sustainable. They may not be, but the authority these sites built is not easily duplicated. We live in a time when selling is not as important or difficult as winning the hearts, minds and trust of shoppers. Once you have a tribe who LOVES you finding something to sell is easy.