Archive for the 'e-commerce' Category

Making the Most of Cyber Monday

cybermondayThere’s no doubt you’ve heard the term Cyber Monday floating around the last few days.

In fact, it’s been around for the last few years … if you trust Wikipedia: “The term ‘Cyber Monday’ is a neologism invented by Shop.org, part of the U.S. trade association National Retail Federation. It was first used within the e-commerce community during the 2005 holiday season. According to Scott Silverman, the head of Shop.org, the term was coined based on research showing that 77% of online retailers reported a significant increase in sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2004. In late November 2005, the New York Times reported that ‘The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.'”

And there you have it – an instant education on what Cyber Monday means. And if you believe the hype, or – better yet – fall prey to it, we bet you’re at your desk right now, reading this post between purchases.

We say go for it. It’s only one day a year, right?

To help you navigate the treacherous backroads of the Internet as you spend money you haven’t yet made, CNN’s Josh Levs has compiled several helpful tips to keep you safe as you browse and buy online – advice that’ll help you get the most out of Cyber Monday.

Watch the video after the jump. Happy shopping!

Continue reading ‘Making the Most of Cyber Monday’

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Using LinkedIn to Build Your Small Business

imagesOver at “The Internet Strategist,” one of Inc. magazine’s featured blogs, writer Maisha Walker has been hard at work on a series of posts dedicated to helping small businesses use LinkedIn as a sales tool.

Everyone has their own way of using the site to his or her advantage, but Walker’s list of power tools is great for anyone using LinkedIn to cultivate new business, network or keep up with existing contacts – and the competition.

Take a look at this comprehensive rundown of what you may or may not be doing to make the most of your presence on the professional networking scene.

Once you’ve studied it – and thought of ways to integrate the techniques into your own marketing strategy – feel free to read some of the LinkedIn success stories Walker has uncovered.

Just think … with the proper attention to detail, someday soon a similar story could be yours!

Continue reading ‘Using LinkedIn to Build Your Small Business’

Preparing Your Site for the Holiday Season

sug_0006_gifAfter the major disappointment that was last December, retailers will be spending more time and energy this year in preparing their Web sites for the holiday season.

You might be thinking though, how can I compete with major retailers whose sites are all shiny and sleek? Trust us, even the shiniest, sleekest sites have their problems. And their oversights could be your gain.

So what exactly should you do to prepare your site for the holiday season.

In an article on MultichannelMerchant.com, James Gardner details a few important steps you should take now to help stay ahead of the curve a month from now.

1. Don’t Forget the Basics

A common mistake that most retailers make, says Gardner – and we agree – is that too many times they concentrate their energy on a particular promotion or holiday campaign. But what about the rest of the site? What happens when all those people who are impressed by the company’s Christmas creativity can’t access others parts of the site because of poor functionality? Well, they answer, all too often, is that leave. They don’t want to be bother with a slow site that isn’t working correctly.

So, before you go spending all your resources on your holiday push, go through your site – meticulously – to make sure that everything is in working order. Make sure there are no unnecessary obstacles that stand in the way of consumer and checkout. Make sure that they have no reason to leave your site because of broken links and videos or images that don’t load. You owe it to yourself and your customers.

Continue reading ‘Preparing Your Site for the Holiday Season’

Web Makeover Gives GolfEtail a Boost

GolfEtailScreenShotWhat a difference a Web makeover makes.

Over the past year we’ve made several changes to the GolfEtail e-commerce Web site, including the addition of rotating Flash banner ads; the launch of a blog that features golf player and product news; and the introduction of The DealTeam, animated characters designed to facilitate a sense of community among GolfEtail users.

The users have responded well to the changes as the site has experienced an uptick in traffic since the implementation of these components. Organic visits to the site have increased nearly 170%. Sixty-five percent of those visitors were new, and they account for nearly 60% of the transactions conducted on the site. Keywords have played an important role in new traffic as well, with more than 19,000 keywords driving search traffic up 330%. Almost 85% of keyword traffic was new.

What this means for the online golf apparel retailer is that Web 2.0 practices are working the brand, drawing traffic primarily using search engine optimization. SEO – through Web copy, the blog, and customer reviews – have introduced GolfEtail to a new customer base flocking to the Internet looking for the best deals on quality golf equipment.

Interactive Marketing – Is That Really Where It's At?

iStock_000000307584XSmallIt shouldn’t come as a shock that more and more marketers are taking their advertising efforts online. We’ve chronicled this shift fairly frequently, like in this post on the increase in spending in social network marketing.

But just because marketers are increasing their budgets for interactive advertising, that doesn’t mean they’re making money.

The good news is at least they think they will. And positive thinking has power, people!

According to the “2009 Promo Interactive Marketing Survey” from PROMO magazine, more than one-third of marketers believe that interactive marketing ROI will be more profitable than traditional marketing – such as TV, radio and outdoor – this year.

Take a look at this bar graph from eMarketer, which details the results of the survey:

Continue reading ‘Interactive Marketing – Is That Really Where It's At?’

Interactive Marketing – Is That Really Where It’s At?

iStock_000000307584XSmallIt shouldn’t come as a shock that more and more marketers are taking their advertising efforts online. We’ve chronicled this shift fairly frequently, like in this post on the increase in spending in social network marketing.

But just because marketers are increasing their budgets for interactive advertising, that doesn’t mean they’re making money.

The good news is at least they think they will. And positive thinking has power, people!

According to the “2009 Promo Interactive Marketing Survey” from PROMO magazine, more than one-third of marketers believe that interactive marketing ROI will be more profitable than traditional marketing – such as TV, radio and outdoor – this year.

Take a look at this bar graph from eMarketer, which details the results of the survey:

Continue reading ‘Interactive Marketing – Is That Really Where It’s At?’

Is Nesquik King of the Interactive Advertisement?

nestle-nesquik-logoIf you have a craving for chocolate milk, it’s no coincidence.

It seems Nesquik – the drink that “you can’t drink slow if it’s Quik” – is spending super major, buku bucks to ramp up its interactive and multimedia advertising.

Nesquik’s adoption of interactive media isn’t new, however. The brand’s been shakin’ things up for quite some time as evidenced by this article first published on BrandRepublic.com more than six years ago. Six years! That might as well be a hundred in digital speak.

Then, of course, there’s this video of passersby dropped-jawed at a massive store-wrapped campaign in downtown Los Angeles. Take a look.

According to the folks on the street, the ad does its job over and over again, several times a day. “I want some chocolate milk!” a few of them exclaim.

Cha-ching!

But perhaps the most revealing display of Nesquik’s command of the interactive language is its presence on ABC.com, where, while watching the most recent episode of “Lost,” I enjoyed (and I mean it!) the exciting ads Nesquik placed between segments.

nesquik1

The first (the screenshot above) was fairly straightforward. Just a regular commercial that you’d see on TV or anywhere else online. But even if you don’t watch the video, which is pretty hard to resist in itself, there’s no way you can ignore the bright, colorful and downright cheery platform on which the campaign was built. It screams happiness – and also invites the captive Internet TV-watching audience to come to its “happy place,” which just happens to be your cupboard or the convenience store right around the corner.

nesquik2

The next phase of this four-part campaign is a game. Not just any game, though – rather, a simple, nostalgic game of Connect Four. I got so caught up playing the game that I totally forgot that I only had to wait 30 seconds to rejoin my program. Somehow, I think that was the plan.

nesquik3

In part three of the series, there are a selection of videos available to watch while the 30-second timer runs down. Again, there are so many options that it’s hard not to spend at least two minutes browsing what seems to be user-generated content. Some of the videos are actually quite funny – if you’re into the chocolate milk as a cure-all kind of thing.

The fourth installment was actually the best of them all. (There’s no image because I accidentally closed the program before capturing it – and it took a half hour of opening and closing streaming videos just to find the Nesquik campaign for the purpose of this post.) It was another game, this time asking viewers to locate Nesquik Bunny on the screen. Once you clicked him, the campaign ended and – get this! – granted you early access back into the program. Brilliant!

How do I know it’s brilliant? Because I was so impressed by this campaign that I had to write about it.

My own giddiness aside, Nesquik seems to really have a handle on how to get viewers’ attention through interactive advertising. It’s much better than those boring auto adverts that I’m usually stuck watching during the online “commercial” break.

Nestle understands its audience, too. It’s not advertising where it doesn’t make sense. Unlike Volvo, Toyota, Nissan, and the other misguided companies misplacing ads on ABC.com.

If you don’t believe me, ask yourself a question: Which are you more likely to run out and buy after your episode is over – a $30,000 clunker or frothy, refreshing Nestle Nesquik?

The defense rests.


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