In 2012 consumers spent over $17 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts. That was up over 8.5% from 2011 and is expected to increase again in 2013. Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas in spending. Among the top retail industries popular at Valentine’s Day are:
You might have a killer marketing campaign this season, unbeatable promotions, and top-selling inventory; however, if you don’t prepare ahead of time for the holiday season, you may end up backed up on orders, and with a slow, or even crashed website. You should make sure to prepare your website and staff for an unprecedented growth in traffic and orders. Continue reading
While the most common online marketing techniques such as SEM, email and media buying have proven effective methods to draw and monetize traffic, social media is still an emerging online marketing metric to not just capture traffic, but to engage with your audience. With the holidays fast approaching, now is an excellent time to ramp up your social media strategy and engage with your fans and followers. Continue reading
Your email marketing campaign is perhaps the most solid means for promoting your Ecommerce business, especially for the holiday season. Email marketing is the art of creating a lifelong customer, rather than a onetime sale. For this holiday season, you want to make sure your lifelong customers, your onetime customers, and your “just browsing” customers know what you have to offer this season. Continue reading
Facebook Offers will help narrow the gap between social media and social commerce, leading your business to monetize the fans you’ve generated from your Facebook page. It will create a way for businesses to reach their fans through promotions and track the success. Facebook Offers is a program for highly discounted coupons to be delivered directly into the news feeds of your fans. This new promotional tool will give businesses access to a motivated fan base of 1 billion users for their special offers and announcements.
To create a successful business, a well-defined plan is required. Take a look at our Ecommerce Strategy infographic which guides through the process of building and maintaining an ecommerce store. From the initial research and data collection to website audits, each step is outlined for an effective online strategy.
In ecommerce this week, a very important change has been made that will eliminate free clicks on Google Product Search listings. Vendors will now bid for the top spot in a new program called Google Shopping. In other news, Google + has rolled out a new service that will now include local listings and customer reviews. Globally, ecommerce is up by more than 300% in the Middle East, with approximately 70% of transactions completed through cash-on-delivery.
This week, breaking news in ecommerce has revolved around the importance of optimizing online stores for mobile devices and Google’s newest update to their Penguin algorithm. In other news, China is becoming one of the largest ecommerce markets in the world, and Facebook may be launching a new smartphone within the next year. Google Chrome has also become the world’s most popular search engine browser, topping Internet Explorer for over a week.
In Ecommerce news this week, retailers are finding new and innovative ways to market their products and to increase exposure to their business. In an effort to increase online sales, virtual retail businesses are looking into social gifting, utilizing open platforms, and harnessing new technologies to bring their marketing to the top. Online businesses are also looking into ecommerce strategies and best practices to ensure that their website and online shopping portals are up to par with new industry standards.
Is Ecommerce a Perfect Solution for Retailers that Sell Shoes?
According to new figures released in January of 2012 by IBISWorld, shoe sales are predicted to grow to $7.8 million, generating a 16.3% increase in online sales over the past year. IBISWorld industry analyst, Brian Bueno, noted that, “The industry has grown furiously for more than a decade as consumers increasingly shift purchases online. Every year, more than 100 million Americans purchase goods from the online retail marketplace, one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.”
The rapid growth of online shoes sales can partially be attributed to the rapid success of Zappos.com, which was sold to Amazon in 2009. The customer-centric business model has created a climate that attracts online shoe shoppers, and with this new data, more business owners with brick and mortar stores are expanding their market reach by using ecommerce solutions to create an online store that will give their customers better and more convenient purchasing options.
Retailers Making Inroads by Joining Ecommerce Market
Big and small businesses alike are now joining the ever-expanding online shopping network, and many are also taking advantage of established shopping portals such as Amazon.com to promote their products. George Manlove, CEO of Vann’s shoe company, established his ecommerce store 15 years ago, as one of the first ecommerce sites to receive CE vendor authorization. Manlove, like many other vendors, has also become a third-party seller on Amazon, and he states that while he competes with Amazon, the increase in traffic to his website is well worth it. Other retailers have also used this ecommerce strategy to gain more exposure for their brand and to increase traffic to their website.
Big Changes are Coming to Google: Algorithm Updates & Semantic Search
The WSJ published an article discussing changes expected to sweep Google, America’s most popular search engine. Several new changes were discussed in the article including more than blue links in the search results, ‘semantic’ search, and a broader collection of results from search queries. According to Search Engine Land, Google has already been providing answers to questions and more information than just the blue links and has also used ‘semantic’ search in order to understand the meaning of words to produce more relevant search results. The third change may involve using a wider collection of entities to create a more comprehensive list of relevant search terms.
Pinterest a Great Marketing Tool for Ecommerce Retailers
Pinterest, the popular social media site, allows users to pin their favorite videos and images on a personalized ‘virtual pin board.’ For ecommerce stores, this popular social media outlet is perfect for marketing products to a large audience, and by pinning the best pictures of their products, retailers can increase online exposure and generate more interest in their store. Once Pinterest users discover the pictures, they can easily share them with everyone that follows their pins. With 7.2 million users and 328% growth in the past year, Pinterest is an exciting new platform that online retailers should use to share their products and connect with people that are familiar with their brand. This is a great online marketing tool that should not be overlooked and can help draw traffic and life long customers to your website.
Improvement in Image Recognition Technology an Asset to Ecommerce Vendors
Many e-retailers are beginning to capitalize on the improvements in advanced image recognition technology that has recently been introduced to the market. This technology allows consumers to snap a photograph of their favorite products with their mobile device and then access a list on their smart phone of products similar to the photo they took. This creates new ways for online retailers to interact with consumers. By incorporating image recognition into an ecommerce platform, retailers can position themselves to meet the needs of their customers and to connect with customers that are searching for the products that they offer.