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but the traffic is there, and I see some potential for revenue. I ask you this...
WHERE is the best place for "advertisements" (ex: google ads, banners) in an online store?
I'm going to make a similar post in the adsense forum and will compare the two to form some sort of plan or theory about this...
If you run (ran) ads in your store, please let us know how you have been successful (or where you failed & why). Should be interesting to compare notes...
Other then that, ads are "leaks" that are hard to control - especially if you were to rely on adsense.
Another possible reason is, that a visitor might have stumbled onto your site because of some obscure longtail-keyword, but doesn't really find what he was looking for. Those guys are thankful for an alternative exit other than the back button.
Presenting competitors ads might also underline your self-assuredness (market-leadership) about your business and might help to ruin a competitor, who has a bad usability on his website;)
It all depends on details. For instance you might present ads after the third or fourth step your visitor has undertaken without putting anything into the shopping-cart (in order to accout for category B).
The best place is always the triangle of attention. But the whole game is quite risky and deserves thorrough control over what your visitor is really doing. Particularly if you participate in adwords-programs yourself.
We also sell on eBay, so we do have various eBay affiliate links (buttons, a banner, menus, site map, etc) that link directly to our own listings on eBay. Expands our own sales (we sell mostly our disco'd, closeout inventory on the Bay), we get commissions and it places that cookie with them in case they buy further items from other eBay sellers. THIS has been a very nice deal for us.
Other than that, I haven't found (or looked hard really) any other affiliate programs that would work without A) competing directly against us or B) just being clutter on the site.
My content sites have plenty of affiliate ads, but I've tried to be careful not to loose focus on the ecommerce site. It ranks #1 in Google for it's niche and could be a affiliate money maker. I have to keep telling myself the B&M and website ARE the business. My content sites and affiliate income are just extra side income for me.
This is another possible model, although I personally believe he is wasting a lot of time on his van, which should better be spent editing his website. But he likes it, and this makes him quite sympathetic, actually.
I have had success putting ads at the bottom of site search results pages, and at the bottom of category pages.
My thought was, if they can't find what they want to buy, provide them with a convenient (monetized) method for the user to continue their search on the internet.
The real question I would like to see answered is "On your Retail site, what percent of overall site revenue is being generated from advertising?" Specifically broken out into paid placements vs. adsense. I would not count MDF into this question.