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Ecommerce Marketing: Social Media Motivation
7/28/2009 11:45:00 AM  
Social media marketing has become increasingly critical for online merchants in recent months. In fact, sharing links and prompting user generated content has become ubiquitous to the point of annoyance in some sites where the host does not even care whether or not a user is meaningfully suggesting a page or product. With the eruption of networks like FaceBook and Twitter, many Ecommerce merchants have jumped on the social media bandwagon without even knowing why...

This leads us to an interesting read by Sam Cece of the E-Commerce Times, entitled "The 4 Biggest Motivators for Social Media Marketing." In the piece Cece notes that "marketers are scrambling to find ways to leverage the various online communities to push their brands and make some money...[marketers] need to take a step back and take a broader look at what motivates their consumers and the various ways that social media can be leveraged to meet their marketing objectives."

Four Social Media Motivating Factors for Ecommerce Marketers:

Self-Service: Sam Cece notes that self-serving motivations function more persuasively in the brick and mortar store than in that of online retail. This entails tangible motivators such as product disocunts and coupons. Likewise, one key example here is when an online shopper is rewarded by the merchant for suggesting the vendor to friends; when the newly subscribed friend makes a purchase, the inviter will then get a bonus $10 off coupon on their next order.

Self-Expression: Typically in the realm of direct marketing, "people are motivated by cash--or saving it in the form of coupons, discounts etc. Within social media, "states Cece, "the biggest motivator is often self-expression." For example, after I created a new stunning pair of self-designed Nike 1990 Air Maxes, I promoted the link and image onto my FaceBook account. Here there was no discount prompt or promo offered for sharing the link; instead, I thought I created a cool pair of sneakers and felt like showing em' off to my pals online...

Status Achievement: A major factor that inspired online retail's growth was bargain hunting and comparison shopping. Cece says "most people like to brag, and that tendency is multiplied by the Web." By being the first to know about a site or the first to buy a newly released or discounted item, people feel special, privledged and unique. The author of the E-Commerce Times article cites an Amazon promotion in which the e-tailing giant "might reward loyal shoppers with early access to a new product release, and then encourage them to share this advanced access with their friends..." Clearly, finding the best deals, quickest shipping, and highest level of support related to customer service is crucial online and when addressing marketing aims, should be a primary element of the discourse.

Altruistic Behavior: Here we are not talking about saving the world...Instead, as the cited author shows, we are addressing that some folks online like to make a positive difference. What if you noted during the checkout process that a consumer could pay an extra dollar to benefit a respected charity? Maybe an online retailer could even opt to offer a free shipping promo it the user checked out with a recycled box or waited for less expedient shipping if the customer preferred not to use a mass shipper but rather a smaller and "greener" one...These are just ideas but when marketers discuss aims and results, they do need to delve into their motivations versus that of their online market.

ShopVisible is an Atlanta, GA. based Ecommerce solution and SEO software provider.

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Tags: ShopVisible, Ecommerce solution, Ecommerce software, social network marketing, facebook, twitter, Ecommerce Times
Categories: SEO, RSS, User Generated Content, Commerce Insights Blog
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ShopVisible's Enhanced Email Marketing System
By DannieB
11/7/2008 12:20:00 PM  
Email marketing remains one the most effective ways for online businesses to up-sell and cross-sell customers.  ShopVisible just made their clients email marketing campaigns better than ever before.
Studies show that testing is key to maximizing ROI with emails.  Online merchants should aim to figure out what kinds of emails should be sent out to which customers, and when. Generally, when an online merchant pushes out an email blast to their clientele, they have no way of distinguishing between the customers who deleted the message, those who opened the email, and those who opened the email and came back to their site to buy.  Knowing this information is integral to adjusting the way a campaign is structured and executed throughout the year.

ShopVisible’s new email tracking capabilities let clients see exactly how their campaign is playing out, with the kind of information that online merchants only dream of accessing.  The SV site manager can now,

•    Summarize the request date, scheduled date and completion date of a newsletter blast
•    Show the total number of emails in the batch, broken down by success to reach inbox, failure to reach inbox, duplicates and opt outs
•    Show how many emails were opened and how many visitors came to the site from these opened emails
And last, but certainly not least,

•     Reveal the total number of orders and the dollar value of those orders from customers who came to the site because of an email

This last capability gives a huge strategic advantage to ShopVisible clients.  Since ShopVisible is an all-in-one integrated solution with an analytics package included, we are one of the few ecommerce sites out there that can generate this vital information for online merchants.  Pinpointing visitors who are spending the most amount of money on products can help business owners focus on a plan to keep those valuable customers as repeat customers.  On the other hand, learning what customers are not being persuaded by the newsletter blast can help merchants come up with new email ideas or layouts that may attract more visitors to their site.

All in all, ShopVisible’s email marketing enhancements are just another worthy addition to the world-class platform that continues to help online businesses grow.  

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Tags: shopvisible, email marketing, site manager, analytics
Categories: RSS, Commerce Insights Blog
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Upsell with ShopVisible's Recommendation Features
By DannieB
10/24/2008 12:47:00 PM  
Recommendation features have proven to be an integral part of the cross-sell and up-sell process of ecommerce. ShopVisible continues to conjure up new, creative, and effective methods for maximizing customer spending.  With ShopVisible’s successful tools, clients give their site visitors incentive to add more products to their carts.  

Create a related items database.
The traditional recommendation function brought to life by Amazon.com, continues to spread to every area of ecommerce.  Famous for the slogan “if you bought Product X, you might also like Product Y and Product Z,” the related items feature presents customers with products that, based on a previous purchase, are likely to peak their interest.  ShopVisible clients can create their own database of closely related items for import into the site manager.  Related items can appear prior to or after client checkouts.  They can also be sent as part of an e-mail marketing campaign.

Automatic Replenishment E-mails
Automatic replenishment e-mails are typically used for businesses that either follow a subscription model or sell products with a “shelf-life.” Clients program e-mails to be sent automatically to customers when its time to refill a prescription, or when its time to replace a part of an appliance.   For retailers in the fashion industry, they can be used to inform clients when new seasonal clothing has arrived.

Taking the Pain out of 404 Error Pages.
404 Error Pages can be a huge turnoff to a visitor on a site.  As a counteractive measure, clients can add a fun message to 404 Error Pages that says, “We’re sorry this page could not be found.  For your inconvenience, take five percent off your purchase in the store today.” Adding a promotional code to 404 Error pages will pleasantly surprise any visitor who happens to stumble upon one (in theory, there shouldn’t be Errors, but no site is perfect).  Clients can turn small site mishaps into a positive reason for a customer to stay on a site.   

Live Chat with Perks.
Clients can offer a discount or promotion to a visitor who Live Chats with a sales associate.  In theory, once both parties are engaged in a dialogue, the associate will persuade the visitor to purchase more items than he would have on his own.  With ShopVisible’s order data system, business owners can compare the order totals of customers who chat with those that do not.  Often, online merchants motivate employees by offering commission to those who land extra sales.  

Member Rewards.
Similar to credit card rewards programs, clients can offer store credit to loyal customers who spend a considerable amount of money on their site.  ShopVisible can create a member portal for special customers who opt-in or send electronic gift cards automatically to those who surpass a fixed dollar amount.  

“No Shopping Cart Left Behind."
“No shopping cart left behind” alleviates the problem of abandoned carts. ShopVisible’s tracking devices record when shoppers place items in a cart, but leave the store before making a purchase.  If the visitor returns to the site in the future, he receives a prompt: “last time you were on the site, you left some items in your cart.  Here’s 5 percent off your purchase today to encourage you to checkout.” The message hopes to reform the noncommittal shopper.

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Tags: recommendation, shopvisible, upsell, 404 Error, e-mail marketing, Live Chat, Rewards
Categories: RSS, Commerce Insights Blog
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URL Clarity: ShopVisible making Life Easier for the Online Customer
10/22/2008 10:48:00 AM  
Have you ever sought out an item online, successfully located it, planned on purchasing it, and then forgotten where you originally found it?

The other day my mother had a birthday. She had recently finished renovating her living room so I thought that it would be a great idea to buy her a new lounge chair. I checked out Rooms To Go online. This furniture purveyor had a lot to offer...including URL confusion.

I browsed the website and found a Beachside Khaki Chair. I liked the look but was unsure if my mom would approve of the color scheme's matching coordination with her new paint job. I jotted down the URL to pass along to her:


(Please keep in my mind that my 60 year old mother is no Bill Gates when it comes to web navigation...)

Since there is a Rooms To Go present here in Atlanta, I decided that maybe mom would be able to visit the store to view the chair. I then thought: "What if I want to save her a trip to the brick and mortar store? Wouldn't it be easier for her to remain home and browse selections?"

After giving her the above confusing URL and waiting on the phone while she slowly yet gracefully sojourned to her destination site, she said: "you know, I cannot find this chair you speak of... Some 404 error page keeps popping up. I hate computers!"

"Mom. Don't blame the computer; blame the URL. Blame Rooms to Go," I replied. I then rehtought the birthday gift buying process which I was attempting to enable my mother with. I recalled seeing another site on the web while I looked for "Atlanta teak (one of ma's favorites types) furniture." AuthenTeak, a ShopVisible powered Atlanta furniture provider, utilized clean and simple URLs. This online storefront popped up at the top on Google's listing.

For a chair similar to that from Rooms To Go, AuthenTeak showed a listing for a "Gloster Plantation Deep Seating Spring Rocker." The neat and tidy URL was:


As both you and my mother can see, the URL states the name, style, and brand all in one place. Let us again try and see what Rooms To Go offered up:


The latter URL was complicated and jumbled, filled with caps, letters and numbers. When I sent my mother the AuthenTeak link, she almost already knew what she was looking for going off the URL alone. She exclaimed, "I love it already. Deep seating, swivel rocking, and located here in Atlanta. How easy!"

Shopvisible's seamless integration and user-friendly SEO content construction made for an overall agreeable shopping venture. For a glimpse into SEO powered retailers, look at all of the ShopVisible merchants.

They have been making URLs and mothers seeking easy web navigation happy for years.

ShopVisible is an Atlanta based ecommerce solution provider. Equipped with Google Checkout Integration and more, ShopVisible utilizes ecommerce state of the line technology, SEO tactics and SEM in order to incorporate efficiently fluid ecommerce processes.

For more ShopVisible blog entries:


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Tags: shopvisible, url, seo, ecommerce, authenteak, marketing, google
Categories: SEO, User Generated Content, Commerce Insights Blog
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From Economic Recession to Automotive Transformation
10/14/2008 7:47:00 AM  

Breaking news: Economic crisis and exorbitant gas prices drive down auto dealer sales.

Significant drops are abundant, yet for many, double-digit losses are the new norm. In a recent national survey sponsored by Autobytel, “56% of surveyed dealers reported sales declines over 2007.” The economy is clearly in a state of flux; dealer survival methods must also adapt to this downturn in order to rejuvenate sales and revamp marketing strategies.

•77% of dealers claim to now invest more effort into lead-conversion
•69% are intent on greater internet marketing
•lucidly addressing the importance online marketing, 91% of dealers polled planned to implement better usage of web marketing tools

Breaking News: ShopVisible powers independent automotive dealers to the forefront of e-commerce arena.

In June 2008, Don L Leasing’s online hit traffic was far from flattering for an auto dealer. After going live with ShopVisible, however, a dynamic shift occurred elevating Don L’s June hit count of 1263 to 58,401 for July. In just one month, total hits grew by 4624%. Further illustrating another auspicious transition is the late summer increase to 91,798 in August and a remarkable 125,328 for September. From June to September, while driven  by ShopVisible, Don L Leasing’s total hits have risen nearly one hundred fold. As an extension of this transformation, Don L’s eBay hits also had a burgeoning summer. While the month of June elicited solely 29 eBay-generated hits, August and September brought with them over 17,000 possible leads respectively. Thanks to ShopVisible, Don L Leasing is reaching more customers and those same customers can now more easily access Don L Leasing.

How did ShopVisible do it? What SV added features benefited Don L Leasing?

For Auto Dealers:

Express Online Credit Application
    * Provides customers quick and easy access to detailed a credit application.
    * Customers can enter personal information in order to seek credit approval for auto lease or purchase.
Auto Financing Payment Calculator
    * Equips dealers with the power to offer customers an easy to use lease calculator
    * Customers can enter automotive specifications, monetary information, and preferred lease term duration to calculate estimated monthly payments
Request a Vehicle
    * Customers have the opportunity to search for other vehicles not listed or not present in "virtual showroom"
    * If a customer cannot find what they are looking for, they can enter the make, model, mileage, transmission type, color, price range and time constraints; all while providing personal information and a message to send to a sales associate
eBay Motors, Autotrader, DuPont Registry
    * Automatically have inventory listed on the most visited automotive channels.
    * Generate new leads from around the web, expanding your showroom beyond your website.
Inventory Auto-Population
    * Inventory information is auto-populated once a VIN is entered.
Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal: Use of Video Marketing Tools
    * Check out music phenom, Sean Kingston, as he ambles through Don L.’s showroom…

ShopVisible has not only revitalized the online auto-purchasing arena but has also simplified and reinvigorated sellers’ abilities to find buyers. For the independent car dealer wanting to sell, rent or lease vehicles over the Internet and drive leads to his sales staff, ShopVisible offers a platform linked to expediency, usability and content management. By providing its clients with the latest technology online  (site specific) traffic reports, web design and keyword search friendly content, dealers can now better access their customer base while maintaining full control over their site’s appearance and content. Auto dealers can conveniently work with ShopVisible’s automated integration with eBay automotives, Craigslist, and Autotrader to expedite leads and sales. ShopVisible’s robust platform offers dealers freedom concerning their up-to-date inventory needs while relinquishing the constraints of needed IT support. Dealers can have ready and easy access to complete analytics in order to view where their cars are selling and where they are not, who is buying and where the best leads are coming from. We’ve done the work so you don’t have to. Stop worrying about technology and just sell cars.

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Tags: e-commerce, auto dealer, shopvisible, marketing
Categories: Commerce Insights Blog
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