Monthly Archives: October 2013

Multichannel Marketing Key for Reaching Online Shoppers

Daniel Posted On - October 28, 2013

Happy Online Shoppers
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The e-commerce world is marked by cut-throat competition. So, in order to survive and succeed you need to work hard and think smart. Reaching out to a large number of shoppers will play a very crucial role in the success of your business.

Traditionally, online merchants have been heavily depended on Google for the major part of their website traffic. This strategy worked perfectly a couple of years back; but not anymore. Now multi-channel marketing is the key to increasing the visibility of your products among customers. The absence of your business in a particular channel can result in considerable loss of revenue.

Several Options To Try Out

If you want to try out other channels, there are several options to choose from. Some of them are expensive while others are free or affordably priced. Here is a list of a couple of avenues that you can consider.

  • Comparison shopping websites: TheFind, Shopping.com, Shopzilla, Nextag, Google Shopping, Bing Shopping and PriceGrabber are some of the popular comparison shopping portals. Most of these websites will direct shoppers back to your e-store.
  • Amazon product ads: It is a pay-per-click advertisement that is displayed at the bottom of Amazon pages for relevant categories and products.
  • Pinterest: In this popular website you can put up the picture of your products. These can then be shared among friends in the network.
  • Facebook: You can start by creating a Facebook page of your company. This will definitely help to spread awareness about your company and its products. You can also place advertisements here.
  • Tumblr: You can promote your brand and its products via this blogging platform.
  • Affiliate networks: You can reach out to a target audience with the help of these large ad networks.
  • Search advertising text ads: These are pay-per-click text advertisements that appear on the search engines Google and Bing.
  • Google Product Listing ads: This is a pay-per-click offering that shows up ads containing rich product information like photo, price and name for relevant search queries.

Selling Across Multiple Channels

If you want to catch the attention of a large number of customers then you can sell your products at multiple online marketplaces. Amazon Marketplace, eBay, Sears, Rakuten, New Egg are some of the most popular options that you can consider in this regard.

The Amazon Advantage

Amazon charges a fee of around 15 percent to sell products there; but a large number of online merchants are willing to pay this amount because of the advantages that it offers. Currently, a large number of shoppers begin their product searches on Amazon. The reason behind its popularity among shoppers is the superior shopping experience that it offers. So, you need to pay proper attention to this platform.

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Best Buy Online Sales Observes an Increase of 10.5% in the Second Quarter of 2013

Steve Burns Posted On - October 8, 2013

Best Buy Aims to Combat ‘Showrooming’ by Matching Web Prices
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When Circuit City went bankrupt many observers had predicted that Best Buy will have a similar end soon. But last year, French executive, Hubert Joly, gave up his post at Carlson, a travel management company, to turn around Best Buy. Now, it seems that his efforts are bearing fruit. In the recent months, its stock price has risen, costs have reduced and profits have increased.

In a recent earnings release of this company it was announced that online sales were $477 million, a 10.5 percent increase on a year over year basis. The company stated that higher website traffic and order values have helped to raise online sales. There are many other factors which are behind these impressive figures. Let us take a closer look at the company and the efforts undertaken by them in the online sphere.

A Name to Reckon with

Headquartered in Richfield, Minnesota, Best Buy is a leading multinational consumer electronics corporation. Established in 1966, it was founded by Richard M. Schulze and Gary Smoliak as an audio specialty store. It was named “Company of the Year” by Forbes magazine in 2004, “Specialty Retailer of the Decade” by Discount Store News in 2001 and has won many other honours.

The Measures Taken

A series of steps were taken by this company to develop the online sales channel. The old site search tool was replaced, product recommendations for online buyers who had no items in their shopping carts were improved, purchasing Geek Squad tech support services online was made simpler and the shopping experience on tablets was enhanced. Additionally, it also provided location-specific product offers and also encouraged buyers to write product reviews.

Plenty of action in the coming months

In the next few months, this company plans on improving its site navigation to a greater degree. Special attention will be paid to online merchandising for in-store clearance and open-box inventory. It has also been trying out a program where 50 of its stores will operate as fulfilment centres for online orders. Moreover, it plans on moving its website to a new ecommerce platform by next spring.

Future expectations

The CEO, Hubert Joly is optimistic that the online conversion rates will increase and the overall margins will improve in the near future. This will be achieved by things like better prediction of consumer demand and giving a clearer picture of the inventory position to the consumers irrespective of the devices they are using to shop.

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The Rise of Same-Day Deliveries: Amazon deserves a pat on the Back!

Steve Burns Posted On - October 6, 2013

Top US Online Marketplace
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It is said that dynamism is one of the key characteristics of the business world. This applies to the field of e-commerce to an even greater extent. Fast paced advancement in technology, new innovations and the changing patterns of tastes and preferences of consumers are keeping e-sellers on their toes like never before. At times like this, being an e-seller can be quite a challenge. Success can be yours; but for that you need to constantly put on your thinking cap and embrace change.

Every day newer and better strategies are being adopted by the various players in the online market to grow their business by attracting consumers. The concept of same-day deliveries is the newest kid on the block that has caught the attention of online sellers. Read on, in order to find out more about this.

Shipment Period and the Customer

The main reason behind the popularity of online shopping is that it offers many more benefits than shopping from the local store. But the time taken for delivery of goods that are bought online is one of the factors which can be a disadvantage for e-sellers. For this reason, the online retailers pay special attention to the timely shipment and delivery of their merchandise.

Online Retailers Offering Same-Day Delivery

Now, many online retailers are stepping up in the game with higher level of confidence by offering a special service to customers where the goods will reach them at the same day of purchase. Even though a slightly higher amount is charged for this special service, consumers are not complaining.

It is a boon for people who have emergency requirements like, a new dress or shoes for the last–minute evening dinner, party or outing. Moreover, there are also certain celebrities who like to receive premium service when they purchase products online.

The rising interest in same-day delivery is providing immense growth opportunities to regional courier companies who specialise in delivering goods at the same day.

Amazon’s Role

One of the main drivers of the increasing acceptance of this strategy is the online retail giant Amazon. The other players in the online business widely follow the moves of this US based online marketplace because it is the market leader. Amazon had launched its same-day Local Express delivery service. It started with seven major metropolitan markets and later added four more to the list. This has helped to trigger a rise in the number of online merchants who are willing to try out offering this service to its consumers.

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Ebay Makes iOS Apps to go Universal

Steve Burns Posted On - October 5, 2013

Pricegrabber.com Reports 14% Purchasers Opted for Jewelry as V-Day Gifts
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The popularity of mobile commerce has soared high and EBay Inc. has chipped in with its crucial role. When it comes to apps, eBay is a name to reckon with. In 2010, the shift in the perspective of the online retailers in terms of framing their sales pitch went for a change as mobile commerce began to resonate with consumers. It, in turn, helped the online sellers to higher their sales figures. eBay made it loud and clear and appeased its loyalists that by committing to the fact that it will launch an app for every occasion. So if you look into the hordes of the apps, it is the fashion app, motor app, foreign-language apps and a lot more which it has come up with. The app which has been a huge hit with the consumers is scan bar codes which help them to engage in comparison shopping when in stores.

The Great Business Move

If anything that is creating real buzz in the world of mobile commerce, it is iOS. Ebay is all set to launch universal iOS apps for its fashion and motor apps. Now, if you are pondering as to what is so special with this universal app, then the convenience is that it is a single app which can be downloaded on  mobile devices, be it a smartphone, a tablet and the like. This way within a wink of an eye, it will display content and features which are optimized for a specific device the app is opened on. So eBay played the masterstroke by opting for a single iOS app. It made eBay to do without iPhone, iPad and iPad mini app, separately. It is good news for the iPad and iPad mini because it is for the first time eBay Motors and Fashion apps will be available to its users.

Making Things Easier

When this app has been launched after the think tanks of the top online name in cyberspace made it happen, it has a lot to offer to the users. The app now contains a single set of code which works for the mobile devices. It has been a united effort of the top professionals or the eBay developers have successfully revamped the company’s eBay Motors and eBay Fashion apps. It is all about catering to the needs of online buyers to offer a “magazine-like shopping experience.”

What eBay has to say?

Ebay blurted out, “The new apps are now universal and are optimized for the iPad and iPad mini. Specifically, both apps are able to display more images, feature a more refined search, and support a tailored experience for both landscape and portrait orientations for the iPad.” The icing on the cake is the news that the online shoppers are already buying 11,000 vehicles a week using eBay with the active assistance of mobile sites and apps. The urge to shop on the go when people are out for a vacation or out for business trip, the addition of iPad to a universal app will make the online shoppers happier!

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Facebook makes it Simpler for Retailers to Promote their Brands

Steve Burns Posted On - October 5, 2013

Elucidating the Worth of a Facebook Fan
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The online business merchants are making the effort to push their business to the target market and envelop a bigger portion of the niche by implementing the best marketing strategies. When we talk about social media promotion of online brands, it is Facebook, the social media giant which just needs a wink of an eye to get on the minds of the e-sellers.

Brand promotion is not about paving the way for increasing the sales figures only; it is also about creating the right brand image. In tune with the revamped online promotion policy that Facebook has come up with for the web merchants, the e-sellers are now empowered to run competitions directly from the timeline of their brand’s official page. The virtual scrapbook catalogues the events and posts that the loyalists of a brand need to know so that they can participate is much more easily accessible now. The web merchants now have the scope to collect entries to contests by making consumers to post content on their pages. Sending a message seems to be a viable option.

What is the Real Change about?

Though this tech-savvy generation gives a loud and clear message that the e-sellers need to think mobile to maximize their reach to the target audience, multi-tasking is never everyone’s forte. The gelling with the apps was a necessity for the online retailers as running competitions was only possible through Facebook applications.

The Custom-Made Business Approach

In order to stand out from the pack, the online retailers need to frame a strategy with the business edge which should be inclusive of the personalized and distinctive business touch. The online brands can create custom-made pages with a more personalized appeal when they are trying to launch a contest. The process also becomes very smooth. There is no need to build an application for a marketer any more, which makes it a time-saving process. When a user shows his interest of entering a contest by posting on a brand page, the content gets displayed on the news feed of his friends. As it is known that when a user logs to Facebook, it is his news feed that reaches his eyes first.

The Advantages that the Retailers can avail:

This change in the brand promotion policy that Facebook has brought about can prove to be a big advantage for the brand owners in the following ways:

  • Running contest is a fast and speedy process now
  • Retailers who have partnered with vendors for building promotional applications can come out of such a business relation
  • If a retailer and a vendor is lacking in transparency in terms of the data collected, the e-sellers will not have to depend on vendors alone for data collection

So if you have been thinking of making your social media marketing plan, where Facebook activities automatically top the chart, you know how to go about it. Facebook can make a difference in your brand marketing approach, so learn the difference now!

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Shopzilla Acquires M-Commerce Technology Provider Zappli

Steve Burns Posted On - October 5, 2013

CSE & Mobile Shopping App
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In the fast-changing world of business, mergers and acquisitions are a common feature. The recent acquisition of mobile commerce startup Zappli by Shopzilla has been creating quite a buzz in the business world. The terms of this deal have not been revealed yet, but it is known that the entire Zappli team has joined Shopzilla. Philippe Suchet, the co-founder and CEO of Zappli has become the Chief Strategy Officer at Shopzilla. Read on to find out more about these two companies and the rationale behind this transaction.

Shopzilla and Zappli

Shopzilla is a leading platform that connects buyers and sellers online by reaching out to an audience of over 40 million people worldwide. It offers price comparison services and operates through a portfolio of shopping websites like Bizrate, Beso, Retrevo and so on.

Zappli is a startup that offers shopping solutions for the mobile platform. InstaBuy and myShopanion are its two main products. With the help of InstaBuy, online buyers can easily purchase products in just two clicks. myShopanion is a comprehensive mobile social shopping app that enables its users to get product information, reviews and compare prices of a vast range of items.

What made Zappli an attractive choice?

Mobile commerce is an emerging area which is said to have a lot of business potential. Shopzilla provides many apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones. However, it does not offer a website that is optimized for mobile technology. So, in such a situation Zappli was a natural choice that will bring it closer to its goal of providing smooth buying experience across all digital devices.

Zappli has spent considerable time and resources in researching on mobile usability and its related problems. The solutions developed by this company are not just applicable for the mobile platform but also for other devices as well. Thus, this deal has provided Shopzilla with an immense opportunity for growth.

The plan ahead

Through this acquisition, Shopzilla aims to incorporate the technological expertise of Zappli in its mobile websites and in apps that will make the checkout process easier. Since Bizrate is Shopzilla’s largest comparison shopping website, the mobile web initiatives will be first carried out there. According to company sources, a mobile web version of Shopzilla is expected to be launched later during this year.

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How can Magazines create their own form of e-Retailing

Steve Burns Posted On - October 5, 2013

Magazine
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The web offers countless opportunities to any business; one just needs to seize it and make good use of it at the right moment. Magazines have come up with an impressive way of e-retailing that is creating waves in the cyberspace. Read on, to find out more about this recent trend that is making the e-sellers go crazy.

The Better Homes and Gardens way

Better Homes and Gardens is a popular magazine that is published by Meredith Corp. This 92 year old magazine also has a very strong web presence at BHG.com. Considering the data of the months of September through November last year, it had an average of 5.6 monthly visitors.

Now, it is taking steady steps towards becoming an e-commerce website. Last August, a shop section was added to it that allowed publishers to sell recommended products online. During early 2013, it listed more than 500,000 products from several e-retailers including Walmart.com, Overstock.com and Target Corp. By this initiative, the magazine aims to provide an easy way for readers to buy what they see on the website.

There are two kinds of fees that are charged to retailers listed in the Shop section. A fee is charged for every click that directs a BHG.com reader to the product page of the retailer and the magazine also gets a share of the revenue if the consumers ultimately purchase that product.

Many are adopting similar strategies

Better Homes and Gardens is not the only one trying out such a novel method to generate revenue. During the last two years, many consumer magazines like Lucky, Esquire, Real Simple, Harper’s Bazaar and Coastal Living have utilised their brand value and heavy traffic flow for e-commerce initiatives.

Understanding what consumers want

Today, consumers expect a lot more than just the written word from publishers. Consumers need the opinion of a dependable voice when they are shopping online.Thus, the opportunity to establish a closer relationship with readers and the revenue generating potential is attracting magazines toward web commerce.

The need to find fresh revenue streams

Print advertising, which is the main source of revenue for consumer magazines, is on a decline. According to Publishers Information Bureau, a body that tracks the amount spent of consumer magazine advertising; between 2002 and 2012 the total number of print advertising pages dropped 33.2%. Thus, it is becoming essential for magazines to seek newer sources of revenue to continue functioning as sustainable business units.

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How Pretty Packages can win over Online Shoppers

Steve Burns Posted On - October 5, 2013

Pretty Packages
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This is an age where looks matter! The avenues have broadened up, opening the opportunities for businesses to make an impact on the minds of the targeted audience with their vast array of products. How the online sellers are packaging the products plays an important role in satiating you so that you make a repeat purchase!

Offering higher level of customer satisfaction is definitely a subjective matter. However, in the face of fierce competition in the online business domain, to win over the shoppers on your stride so that they do not land up on the website of your rivals, walk that extra mile. As it is being talked about to the core, the need for adding that essence of personalization in the products, premium packaging is the key when you want to make a lasting impact on the minds of the buyers.

The Trends that the Surveys are showing up

There are many instances from real life like for making a dish big hit, no matter how it tastes, the garnishing has to be done in an eye-grabbing way. In the same way, the working of the virtual world where an online buyer completely goes by his sense and impulse to buy, packaging acts as an eye-candy for a product. It tags the product with an appealing quotient.  51% of online consumers said they expect to receive online orders in premium packaging from a retailer, which is definitely an add-on for the e-sellers. The statistics of the survey revealed:

  • 71% of the online buyers have a higher expectation in terms of quality packaging when they are placing the orders for the luxury products online
  • 52% online shoppers are of the opinion that they are going to indulge in repeat purchasing when the products reach them in premium packaging
  • When it comes to women’s dresses, jewelry or some exquisite and delicate gifts, 53% say premium packaging can definitely weave magic and work wonders in satisfying customers

Lure, Attract and Satisfy

When you as the e-seller have the best scope to retain your customers by playing on their psyche with eye-grabbing packaging, let the planning part to be the X-factor in your sales pitch. Make the most of the ample business opportunity that is there in an operating business domain. No matter how good is the quality of the products, if the garnishing part of the complete dish, in this case, the way you deliver the products to the targeted customers, it will not make those to click with the target audience. So grab the attention of the potential buyers, raise their interest, draw their attention so that they use their buying impulse and engage in the online shopping spree.

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Rakuten Expands its Online Marketing Assets with Acquisition of PopShops

Steve Burns Posted On - October 5, 2013

Japanese Internet Service Company
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Nowadays, many companies are resorting to mergers and acquisition in order to grow their business. Some of the benefits derived by a company by adopting this strategy include reduction in cost through economies of scale, tax gains and increase in market share via rise in revenue.

In the vibrant world of e-commerce, there is a large number of mergers and acquisitions that take place frequently. Rakuten Marketing’s acquisition of PopShops is one such recent example. The following paragraphs will give you greater insight into the companies and the deal.

Rakuten Marketing & PopShops

Rakuten Marketing, is a part of leading Japanese internet service company Rakuten Inc. Headquartered in New York City, this company offers technology and services for affiliate marketing, retargeting, display, search marketing, lead generation and loyalty, to advertisers and marketers.It has offices in places like Australia, Brazil, Japan, the United Kingdom and throughout the United States. It includes Rakuten LinkShare, a performance marketing network and Rakuten MediaForge, a retargeting and display company.

Founded in 2006, PopShops is a Seattle-based company that provides data analytics engine for intelligent product feeds to online advertisers and publishers. With the help of PopShops, over 4,000 advertisers and 25,000 publishers comprising coupon portals, blogs, loyalty programs, comparison shopping sites and so on, can get access to the latest product information from a single place.

How the Advertisers Benefit from PopShops?

With the assistance of PopShops, advertisers can increase the sales by supplying publishers with the most current product information. Especially when shopping online, the quality of data feed affects the purchase pattern of consumers. Revenue loss arises due to incorrect, vague or outdated information. But, the ability to offer accurate and relevant information requires a huge time commitment. For this reason, advertisers and publishers depend on PopShops to provide refreshed product, coupon and deals information.

The Deal

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. But it is known that the acquired company from now on will be known as Rakuten PopShops and will continue to be based in Washington state. All the employees will remain with the company and report to Rohinee Mohindroo, President, Rakuten PopShops. In June this year, Rakuten launched e-commerce operation in Austria and PopShops is its latest e-retail and online marketing acquisition.

The Rationale

Rakuten was greatly impressed with the quality of the analytics engine of PopShops and its ability to propel online sales. This buyout will help the company to stay ahead in the competition and enhance its assets across all the main areas of digital marketing.

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