I've got numbers two and three moving in the right direction. It's slow enough around here tonight I've had time to read some of these threads - very informative. I'm window shopping, looking at affiliate and targeted mailing as other options, but its new territory for me.
1. Press release.
3. Commission Junction.
3. Banner Ads.
4. Pay=Per-Click Search Engines.
Please add as many as you can and tally them up at the emd.
Ok, I've done them all in some sort of way or form. Here's my breakdown.
1. Link Popularity - very important. Takes time and patience.
2. Good Domain (Branded or Optimized?) - If you do not have a good .com or .net domain, you will have an uphill battle.
3. Search Engine Optimization. - Important, but becoming less important as more and more of the search engine results are "sponsored"
4. Affiliate Program - Only important if your customers have their own website, and you can focus time on the project. It is very hard to do w/o spending a good deal of $$$.
5. Newsletter - Not that important. When you get 1000 plus members, then it might be and idea to send a site update every few months, if the customer opts in for the newsletter.
6. Bizrate.com - Skip it. Their bids are too high, and you are going one on one against major billion dollar companies that have a blank check towards these "shopping engines". Besides, it doesn't convert as well as you can imagine. Plus, there are dozens of other merchants that may be offering the same thing that you are offering at a lower price.
7. DealTime.com - See above statement.
Just stick with keywords linked directly with the item that you are selling. Stick with Adwords, Overture, and possibly Ah-ha (at extremely conservative bidding). All the others are crap. So do not even waste your time.
Hope that helps!
This was the beginning of a list and was hoping people would throw in their two-cents and not criticize. There are about 50-60 things I do to promote my site and none of what I mentioned is a waste of time. You can get a Sale a day from EACH Dealtime.com, BizRate.com, and MySimon.com. Also, I have an opt-in email database of 60,000 and believe that an email campaign is near the top of the list.
More of what I was wondering is all the steps that people take to promote their ecommerce business. There are tons of things that can be done and am looking more for a LIST than someone's point of view as to what is good and what is not.
We can get to what works for some people and not others at the end of the email, after everyone has contributed. Please add what you do for your sites.
Here are some more.
Setting an example
Asking for a link
Contests + games
Offer e-mail service
Press media kit
Market research? Information should be the first step you take before targetting a market.
Who are your customers? What do they like? What do they use your product for? Alternate uses? Associated products or services? Fan sites / support sites? What else do they buy? From who? How can you break down your market (eg, IT literate / non IT literate - the "nons" could represent a great untapped market)? How much do your customers spend? Are they responsible for the purchase or is it bought by someone else? What is the relationship there? What other or related interests do your customers have? What do they *want / need* from your product? How can you reinforce this? Why did your customers buy from you? What sets you apart from your competitors?
If you have identified a clear market segment to target, then you can go ahead and work out ways in which to target potential customers. It may be that your market is very broad and undefined, in which case mass marketing (email, snail mail, cold calling) and SEO would be your strongest allies.
But if you have a niche market and you rely on SEO to bring you the trickle of traffic from people who search for what you sell, then you are losing the business of all the people who dont search.
I heard a dirty rumour that people who dont use Google have money to spend as well... ;)
Alex your list seems pretty solid as it is just now - I would add customer service, repeat sales and client referrals to it as well.
What else do they buy? How do you find that one?
I am also having problems getting 3,000 or do pages indexed on GOOGLE. Any suggestions?
>What else do they buy? How do you find that one?
Some things are common sense - car owners buy certain car related products for example. Other stuff you can make a guess at - 18 25 male is likely to spend a large percntage of his income on: alcohol, music, electrical equipment, cars, hobbies, etc etc.
Otherwise, a small survery could find this information out.
Think of it in terms of working out the likes and dislikes or your users to enable you to convey your message better (as oppose to actually branching out to sell these products). How do companies target 18 25 males? Cars, sports, women, socialising and personal appearance.
But you wouldnt use this stuff to target 18 25 women, would you? Well maybe personal appearance! ;)
>I am also having problems getting 3,000 or do pages indexed on GOOGLE. Any suggestions?
Uh ask someone else! :P Thats a whole different thread in itself! ;)
Where can I get a form to ask my cusr=tomers what else they buy?
Most HTML editors allow you to create forms for users to fill in and submit to you.
In fact it's a fairly basic part of HTML.
In terms of "what questions to ask" and "how to present them", well that's a whole new issue with similar concepts as marketing your product.
We do not seem to get a lot of replies to forms and questionaires.
Look at the tactics offline market research uses.
Mentioned already in the thread .. Offer a fun prize draw or competition or whatever .. if the data is going to be of value to you then you may have to pay out something for it.
from another marketing guy :-)
Perhaps you are not giving people a reason to fill them in.
Make it so they get something out of doing it, a competition or free delivery, a small discount. Something along those lines might help.
If you have a mailing list already try putting it in your newsletter.
HEHE we must have been typing at the same time! You are obviously faster though :)
30. (or whatever # we're on) -- Free Samples, preferably with the company logo and/or URL on it if appropriate, distributed at trade shows, local malls, or anywhere else large numbers of potential customers are gathered
How about T-Shirts, Mugs, Mousepads, etc...
I am trying to follow up wiyj getting good GOOGLE listing by addding new venues and then towards the end of the discussion we can say what worked and what has not.
What other things do you suggest?
A simple and memorable domain name, be the best solution providers for a niche and provide excellent or stunning customer service, basically a killer offering so that you may stimulate word of mouth referrals from your happy customers.
The sites I buy most from online were not found from search engines but from word of mouth. I know (as mentioned in this thread already) I cannot assume I am an average customer :-) but I dont need to use a search engine to find these sites, their urls are lodged firmly in my head.
Opt in info emails, offer emails, specials emails, buy as a bulk pack, at discount etc.
they do it in the stores in many countries in the world.
Thanks for the tip. How often do you send an email?
Coming back to the original topic - What are all the steps at promoting an ecommerce site? But with one remark - if you aim at the global audience. I mean if you are interested primarily in internatonal sales what specific methods do you apply? And what is not appropriate from all above steps?
And one more question (probably, offtopic) - how many of you will buy products from an Eastern European e-commerce company? Does anyone have any experience and will you consider such a thing in general.
I agree that research is critical in identifying where to target your efforts. Information is king. If you use a scattergun approach and try to do everything, you will expend a lot of time and money to little effect.
You also need a way to track which strategies are working. Have a specific url and landing page for each campaign, each with a registration form (but don't insist that visitors register befopre entering the site). Or at the very least, ask customers who visit your site to tell you how they found it. Then you can track the effectiveness of different marketing approaches, ramp up those that are cost-effective, and abandon the ones that are not.
There is something which I know is very flawed but which I often base my puchasing decisions on: the Alexa Traffic rank counter. I tend to buy from sites with a high traffic ranking than does that do not.
The problem with the Alexa counter is that the ranking is based on traffic from those who had installed the counter only. Therefore, if you have the Alexa counter installed on your own browser and you visit your own web site often, the ranking of your web site will go up substantially. However flawed it is, I would recommend that you install the counter on the own browser and use it to visit your site for debugging purchases.
Offering prizes for filling out surveys will get you skewed results. People will fill out the survey with what they think will please you in order to have more of a chance at winning (at least that's what they will think).
HTML generator forms can be limited if you don't have the knowledge for programing so the form has a backend. Otherwise, all you get is raw data that you have to input somewhere by hand :(
We have always found that stroking the customer's ego helps alot in getting them to fill out the survey. i.e. we NEED your opinion. Your opinion is very IMPORTANT. THANK YOU for your opinion The old tequniques to get people to buy will get them to fill out your survey.
hannamyluv just to come back to you on prizes and skewed results.
Its my view that you cannot take the results from site feedback from one site as being "statistically significant" or representative of more than the population of people who filled in the survey.
You can ask qualitative things, open ended questions, ask for suggestions which might make their shopping experience more valuable, sort out issues that are holding them back from buying.