As the playing field levels for online retailers in terms of basic transactional capabilities—e.g., fast checkout processes, accurate shipping calculators, e-mail order confirmations—how can we increase sales and build competitive advantage in the years ahead?
"As the Internet grows and matures, it's becoming increasingly difficult for webmasters to 'fake it and make it.' The days of spam, blackhat SEO, and thin affiliate sites are numbered as Google tweaks its search algorithm and Internet users become more savvy online. Sure, there will always be ways to game the system, but they will probably take just as much time and effort as it does to create a leading authority site that actually provides value to users."
A few years ago, many of us in the interactive marketing field were predicting the “death of the homepage” or “Google is the new homepage.” About that time, some of us started touting widgets as the next big thing without really knowing why. It sounded right, and many of us were hungry for the next big thing.
Making your e-commerce Web site easy to navigate can mean the difference between making a sale and sending your shoppers running for the hills (or worse -- to another e-commerce site).
Almost 75 percent of respondents to an eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit survey reported that while they are optimizing conversion rates and landing-page effectiveness, customer satisfaction was the least-optimized metric. According to the Summit's survey report, this fact signifies that customer satisfaction is an overlooked metric that could offer a competitive advantage to those who embrace it.
"Earth Day is around the corner and a lot of marketers are thinking about the sustainability of our planet. Some are recognizing that doing good also helps business. Edelman's Good Purpose study found that 73% of consumers are prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly products. However, it's not just the environment that is endangered by toxins. The atmosphere we breathe online [also] is being threatened by pollution -- from marketers. The all too convenient truth is that it's very easy for advertisers to pollute the web with their garbage. Most often, that's not their intent. But it's the end result and it's reaching an epidemic proportion. Now business needs to take the same approach online as it has done offline through corporate social responsibility."
"Are your readers doing what you want them to do? Are they clicking through to your links, ordering your eBook or signing up for your opt-in? If not, you need to learn a master craftsman's copywriting secret. This technique acts like a remote control to get your readers to take action. Press this 'magic button' and you'll see your results improve dramatically. The secret, masters-only technique to compelling your readers to act is to ... ask them."
Challenge: Make up for a decline in store traffic Solution: Relaunch the Web site with a comprehensive online inventory and gift center Results: Sales increased approximately 105 percent in the first month Remaining flexible as the marketplace shifts keeps companies sharp, and when retail traffic diminishes, merchants focus on the Web to entice customers to visit retail stores and make purchases. Because most consumers prefer to view jewelry pieces in person, providing a positive online experience often is a challenge. When Days Jewelers experienced decreased retail traffic last year, the 100-year-old Waterville, Maine-based company created a new Web site to better showcase its product
Seventy-two percent of major and mid-level donors believe that donating online is more efficient than offline and helps charities reduce administrative costs. This was a key finding from a national research study of the online behaviors and attitudes of the "wired wealthy" -- individuals who donate a minimum of $1,000 dollars annually to a single cause and give an average of $10,896 to various charities each year, with a median gift of $4,500.
"Link building sucks. There I said it. Of course it's been said before and most people who have even the slightest bit of experience with it can tell you the same. It's tedious. It's monotonous. It's mundane. True link building is marketing. But that doesn't make it any more interesting. For every link achieved there is a lot of time spent researching, analyzing, comparing and communicating. It's the same for whatever kind of link building you're doing; link exchanging, link buying, link convincing, link baiting. Very few people can open up shop and immediately gather hundreds or thousands of links. There is a process. Where does it start? Having something worth linking to. This is the entire concept of link baiting, creating something that others want to link to. I suppose if you're buying links having link worthy content isn't as much of an issue, but it should be."