Monthly Archives: October 2012

Content marketing Strategy for Online Retailers that work

Steve Burns Posted On - October 24, 2012

Content marketing Strategy for Online Retailers that work
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Everybody knows that content is king, but what they do not understand is how all pervading is its rule. But this does not mean that all your landing pages must have reams of typography – it just means that the more you tell, the more you sell.

A moving picture is worth ten thousand words

Videos are the most popular way to attract and retain eyeballs and convert the browser into becoming a buyer. It is easy and simple to create a how to video about your product and embed it in your landing page. If you are not video-web-savvy, then use You Tube to obtain a simple, sharable video code that you can place in your website.

Blog to flog your products online

Your blog is a great place to start demonstrating facts that make your product different from the competition. What’s more, blogging is a great way to better your Google rankings by incorporating strategic keywords. A higher ranking is directly proportionate to better conversions and higher visibility.

Use E-Books to book sales

E-books are an excellent way to promote sales, but most people tend to think that they don’t work as well in the B2C framework. It is time to start thinking of e books as a detailed brochure or pamphlet. E books are also an excellent alternative when you want to share a wealth of information that you cannot accommodate on a blog. They can also help establish you as a thought leader in the industry.

Use Customer Reviews to tell and sell

Always give your customers to tell about their buying experience online at your store front. Ask for and coax testimonials and product reviews. If you have done your job well and have satisfied the customer, he or she will definitely consider sharing this experience. On the flip side, if you have put of the customer for whatever reason, that will be enough motivation for him or her to complain online. In such an instance, take remedial steps and work your butt off to assuage hurt or unsatisfied sentiment and regain the trust of the customer.

The best part of user generated content is that you do not have to work towards generating it. It is publicity that customers generate for you and it works better than sponsored advertising or publicity. Incentivise customer feedback with discounts on their next purchase, offer them easy to use interfaces to log on their experiences. You will earn SEO points for all this content without having to strike a keyboard!

Evaluate your Content Marketing Strategy to see if it works

You have placed your CPC ads, and they drive traffic to your landing page. Now what? How do you deal with them, make them stick around, take a look at the products and brands that you offer and convince him to buy? Firstly your CPC ad is the beginning of your communication to the prospective client. It should be driving the conversation. Populate your landing page with enough information that will make the prospective buyer linger on, and browse. Features like Video demonstration and user generated reviews will help in convincing the browser to turn into a buyer. Finally check your results and see if enough number of people who land on your website turn into paying customers. Otherwise you are hunting well, but are poor on gathering.

  •  Is your content interesting, relevant and engaging enough to convince the customer to become interested?
  •  Does the content on your website compare favorably with what the competition offers clients?
  •  Does your content and presentation differentiate you from the competition?
  •   Are you using more than mere product descriptions to fuel the buyers movement in the decision making funnel?

If any of these questions resulted in a no or a maybe, it is time for you to re-assess your content management. After all, given that content is king, it is imperative that your content on the landing page should grab the attention of the prospective buyer, create interest in your products, generate a desire to shop at your store and make him act on this desire and buy!

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Happy Selling!

This blog is brought to you by ChannelSale.com– a platform that empowers you to distribute your product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as  marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate netowrks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email info@channelsale.com or for more information click

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Handling negative feedbacks positively

Steve Burns Posted On - October 24, 2012

Handling negative feedback positively
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An irate customer is not good for business. An irate customer who complains online is deadly for any online business. He spreads the message of doom and drives away others from shopping at your store.

Yet, no matter how well you manage things, there are going to be instances of irate customers. Something, somewhere will go wrong, and you will be called upon to tackle it with finesse and positivity.

So, lets say you have a customer who has complained online about dealings with your store. The first thing that we suggest you do is contact him/her immediately. You do not want to let these wounds fester and leave the impression that you do not care about your buyers. Listen carefully and patiently to the issue that left the customer dissatisfied and listen to it with a positive frame of mind. In such situations it pays to be polite. If his complaint is something that can be resolved by offering him something like waiving off the shipping costs ( if the complaint is related to deliveries) do feel free do offer this freebie. It might assuage hurt feelings and help in resolving the matter before it becomes a large issue.

Once you have resolved the issue, think carefully and judge if you have patched up the situation well enough to request him to remove the online complaint. If he removes the online comment, well and good, if the customer declines to remove the complaint, respect his decision. You cannot offer any inducement to either make a comment about the shopping experience or remove a comment. That is not good policy – induced feedback is completely wrong and is akin to paid propaganda.

Pressurizing the buyer to remove feedback is also not good policy in the long run. It is best to fire fight and state plainly the steps that you took as an organization to redress the complaint. In this way everyone who reads the negative comment will also see your rebuttal, so probably if your response is well worded, it will contain the damage. Explain online how you work towards ensuring a better consumer experience and the lessons and the actions you have taken to ensure that such an instance never arises again.

Many a negative feedback can be avoided by making sure that your listings are accurate and complete. A major source of customer dissatisfaction is not getting what they believe they ordered. This mostly occurs because of inaccurate or misleading detail page information. As a best practice, when you create your listing, make sure to ensure that the listing is as complete and accurate as possible. As a rule, a positive reaction to a negative situation can help a great deal in redressing the issue.

Overall, a 0-2% negative feedback rate is good. But if your negative feedback forms more than 5% of your  total feedback, you might want to review your business practices.

Finally though, take a moment to reflect and learn from this whole issue. Is there anything systemic about the slip up? Is there something that you can do as an organization to ensure that such instances do not recur? The lesson that you take away from such an experience is valuable and can help in changing the course of your business.

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51 ways to differentiate yourself as an e commerce retailer

Steve Burns Posted On - October 10, 2012

51 ways to differentiate yourself as an e commerce retailer
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Unlike a high street retail store where the customer has a distinctive user experience, it is very difficult for e commerce retailers to differentiate themselves from the others. Yet it is an imperative if they want to increase their share of click falls and boost their sales and their customer loyalty.

Here are 51 ways in which E commerce retail

ers can create a differentiation

1.    Stake your differentiation on a particular platform and show people how different you are – it could be your level of service, any particular policy you have, or some extra benefits you give your customers – make them understand how different you are.

2.    Make the user experience pleasurable – study your shopping cart process and simplify it so that it is intuitive and fast.

3.    Tell people how much they have saved by shopping with you- it is no longer good enough to do a good job, others need to realize that you have done a good job.

4.    Enable customers to make their own wish lists of products they wish to buy in the future.

5.    Ensure excellent customer support –be it by live chat, phone or e mail – your customer support should be able to answer queries and direct them to purchase the product that meets their requirements.

6.    Ensure that your site search delivers good answers to queries

7.    Offer free shipping for orders about a certain amount.

8.    Offer a money back guarantee and stand by it.

9.    Offer good discounts to customers who share their shopping experience.

10.    Follow up abandoned shopping carts and reconnect to these buyers.

11.    Offer something special to loyal shoppers who do repeat purchases from your site.

12.    Deliver customer service through Facebook, Twitter and other social media –many customer voice their grievances or experiences in social media – be attuned to these and respond immediately.

13.    Use informational videos to improve your sales.

14.    Offer the deal of the day – and make it lucrative and beneficial for the customer.

15.    Make it easy for customers to track their order status.

16.    Offer live help to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

17.    Offer free shipping days – to increase offtake.

18.    Track past purchase history and recommend another product that the customer may like.

19.    Have a 365 day return policy – even though the prices will tend to become higher, many buyers will feel comfortable with a longer return policy

20.    Make e mail gift cards to enable shoppers to share your store details with their friends and colleagues.

21.    Customize your gift cards – for example, Amazon enables customers to incorporate their photograph in the gift card so that the recipient knows who gave them the gift.

22.    Create and display a list of best sellers.

23.    Make your e mail marketing memorable- if your marketing message is interesting, compelling and  entertaining, your sales and recall are bound to improve.

24.    Offer more than one shipping option – different people may have preferred shippers – so offering more than one option makes sense.

25.    Make specific and lucrative offers for people who cancel your service –  make your best offers to people who have taken a trial of your product and are not willing to upgrade.

26.    Offer special incentives to target customers.

27.    Start a referral campaign and offer bonuses for references.

28.    Offer special deals for people who are on your mailing list make sure they know this offer is exclusive to them.

29.    Promote writing of reviews of products and shopping experience.

30.    Offer a Gift Guide for those who want to buy and give a gift but don’t know what to purchase.

31.    Offer special coupon codes in your e mail sales letters –this is a great way to prompt customers to visit your site.

32.    Offer Gift wrapping options for buyers who are purchasing a product to give as a gift.

33.    Eliminate all hidden charges – be upfront, transparent and forthright about what the buyer has to pay for.

34.    Offer secure ways for the customers to make payment.

35.    Enable automatic delivery –by enabling customers to order often used and replenished products at a specified interval, you ensure ongoing sales and customer loyalty.

36.    Communicate with first time customers – send them an email and help them with any queries they may have, welcome them back to the website.

37.    Support charities of your choice and let people know of your contributions – this will demonstrate that you are a responsible retailer who gives  back to society.

38.    Make your about us page a tool to connect to customers – Customers like to connect to websites or stores that they buy from. So make sure that you are articulate about what your company vision, mission and values are and how you care about making the user experience a pleasurable one.

39.    Create a community forum in your website – wherein customers can raise issues about issues they face and communicate with other users. It is a great way to keep tabs on what customers are thinking.

40.    Offer a lowest price guarantee and stand by that. It might mean that you make less money on the sale, but more important, you ensure that you get the customer to buy from you.

41.    Send coupons on customer’s birthdays – It is always nice to get a gift or a special offer on one’s birthday.

42.    Maintain a blog that will offer useful tips to customers – for example a electronics store can have a blog on maintenance of equipment and upgrades.

43.    Make your gift cards printable – chances are that customers are ordering gift cards when they have forgotten to buy something for their friend or associate. Make sure they can print out the card and gift it to their loved ones.

44.    Ensure that your client service personnel have encyclopaedic knowledge – so that they can     answer specific queries about products and offer the right recommendations based on their customer’s requirements.

45.    Post genuine customer testimonials on your website – let others know what your existing customers think of you and your store.

46.    As a business owner, reach out to your customers – it is always a good feeling when the CEO of the company cares enough to interact personally with customers.

47.    Discard scripted responses – if your customer service executives are reading a standard response to customers, it will look contrived and detract from the genuineness of the interaction. Make the responses genuine and based on the personality of the brand.

48.    Give discount coupons to those who sign up for your newsletter.

49.    Make your newsletter interesting, up to date and informative.

50.    Ensure easy checkouts from your site – it should be handled with minimum clicks and in an intuitive sequence.

51.   Have your products listed across all the online shopping channels with the centralized product data feed management platform: ChannelSale.com for optimal product listings and to synchronize the product data in real-time across all channels while having access to detailed macro level and micro level  performance reports.

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Happy Selling!

This blog is brought to you by ChannelSale.com– a platform that empowers you to distribute your product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as  marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate netowrks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email info@channelsale.com or for more information click ChannelSale.com

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How to create a Google Product Listing Ad Campaign?

Steve Burns Posted On - October 1, 2012

How to create a Google Product Listing Ad Campaign
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For the technically disadvantaged, setting up your first Google Product Listing Ad campaign is almost like preparing to go for your Prom Night. You feel awkward, young but acting grown up, and are unsure of public reaction to your get up, yet you need to be successful and noticed.Thankfully though, Google has recently announced that they are making the process of creating your product listing ad campaign a lot easier to manage. It is a simple 3 step process after you log into your Merchant Center.

Step One – Log into your Google Merchant Center account, click settings on the left and then click on Adwords.

Click Get Started in option number one, which lets you “Create an Adwords Account and Product Listing Campaigns “ in three easy steps.

Here you will be presented with simple options – Picking your time zone, currency and the name of your campaign. Be careful when you choose these options because you will not be able to change these details later.

In Step Two, set up your default Max CPC – indicating the daily budget of what you are willing to spend.

In Step Three, you fill in your billing information, and you are all set to begin your campaign.

Obviously, this method has severe limitations, since you are setting one bid for all your products – something that is considered a big No-No.

Getting the maximum benefit of the New Google Shopping feed management strategy will necessitate that you log in via your Adwords  login.

Here is a Google video that illustrates this process in detail.

http://www.google.com/ads/shopping/getstarted.html

Happy Selling!

This blog is brought to you by ChannelSale.com– a platform that empowers you to distribute your product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as  marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate netowrks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email info@channelsale.com or for more information click ChannelSale.com

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