The Mobile Impact on Social Shopping and ECommerce

It is undeniable that social shopping and mobile are two of the largest and fastest growing segments of eCommerce and digital engagement today. It only makes sense that the two would find a way to converge and leverage the strengths of one another. So far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg, but we anxiously anticipate what innovative developments are soon to be at our fingertips.

Their recent study surveyed 1,004 adults, with the majority falling between 35-44 years old with a nearly even split of men to women.

The survey found that 92% of users purchase products online at least once a month and that nearly 75% spend over $500 a year online. These figures indicate a strong rise in eCommerce over the last few years, but where does mobile come into the picture?

While the mobile commerce is still looking to define itself, the idea of purchasing products from a mobile device is becoming less foreign to smartphone users as the mobile web becomes heavily integrated into their everyday lives. In fact, Forrester predicts mobile commerce to grow to $31 Billion by 2016.

Currently consumers most frequently use their mobile devices for product research/reviews as well as interacting with in-store marketing such as QR codes. The overwhelming majority of mobile use relative to shopping in centered on competitive pricing through search and third party applications. Smartphone users love to use their phones to check prices on the go to quickly ensure they are getting the best deal. This could mean good news for your eCommerce store as the mobile industry continues to grow.

When asked about the ways consumers are using their mobile phones for researching products and businesses online, surveyors responded as follows. Roughly one third of consumers use their phones for checking sales & specials, store information (hours, locations, map, etc), product ratings and reviews, and price comparison through 31% of consumers used their phone to browse online stores looking for products of interest while 24% did so with the intent of purchasing a product.

These figures tell us that currently the majority of mobile devices are being used by consumers to research a product or store rather than to make purchases. However, with 25% of consumers willing to purchase online we can definitely mark a major leap for mobile commerce. As the mobile web continues to develop and more stores expand their mobile presence, eTailers can expect to see a big rise in mobile visitors and sales.

Surveyors were also asked how they use their mobile phones for research while in a brick and mortar store. The results showed that the majority of consumers are using phones to access promotions, compare prices, read reviews, and interact with in-store marketing such as QR codes. This indicated the growing importance of social engagement on your website through customer reviews and interactive marketing.

Today’s shoppers are smarter than ever. They are knowledgeable about the products they want to buy and have the resources to ensure they get the best deal and the best service. In order to win the sale and the customer your business must be an integrated part of their online experience from start to finish. Social engagement has never been so important to eCommerce success, and the future shows no sign of that slowing down.

Ensure that your businesses is doing everything it can to connect with users by expanding your web presence, incorporating reviews into your site, leveraging promotions, and increasing social engagement through mobile and social selling on Facebook. It is important for consumers to see your products/services and from a variety of channels and to connect with them through reviews before they are fully comfortable making a purchase. This is where the value in a social and mobile presence for your business lies.

Visit our blog to read last month’s article about a Social Shopping Study on eCommerce, Social Media, and Customer Reviews from the e-tailing group.

Social Media for Small Business – How to Get Started

When it comes to owning a small business and having less than 20 employees, we often put marketing on the back burner. When it comes to Social Media Marketing we definitely do not have the time. But, should we make the time? Businesses have found (both small and large) that social media marketing is something that everyone should be paying attention to. This gives you a direct line to your clients and customers. More then 50% of the population will have a profile on a social network. More and more of our customers and clients are coming to us through digital means. Posting on a regular basis to social media sites and updating your blog holds great value to business and even greater value to small business. Informing clients and customers about sales, specials, and other promotions helps to promote customer loyalty. It also gives a cool new way for the best marketing tool there is to bolster your business (Word of Mouth Marketing). Customers can easily share your information with friends and followers giving you a direct line to new prospects.

So, how much time is enough? Well that really depends on you. Many experts say that you should devote five to ten hours a week to social media marketing. I say, if you need to, start off slow. Devote at least two hours a week to posting on social media sites and/or updating your blog. You can post information that you have found on other websites that you think will be helpful to your customers on Facebook or Twitter even if you don’t have an article or something else to post yourself. Once you start, you will get the hang of it. You do not have to have complete articles for each post. You can even post a favorite quote or an answer to a question that you recently received from a customer. This creates a dialogue between you and your customers. This also shows how involved you are with your customers and that you are dedicated to making sure that they receive the level of service they deserve.

Social media will not be immediately beneficial for everyone. It takes time and dedication to see a result from using social media as a marketing tool for most. It really depends on the services or products that your company offers. Do not use social media to Sell Sell Sell! It should be used to inform and keep in contact with your customers and prospects. You will find that an open dialogue will go a long way with future sales and customer loyalty.

What You Need To Know For Successful Internet Marketing

If you are in the dark about successful internet marketing, you are not alone. Many great ideas have fallen by the way side because the owner of the business did not have the information they needed to be successful. Don’t let that happen to you. Start using these practical tips today

Try to do things that focus on bringing a new customer base to your company. If you do not expand the amount of clients that you have, business will not grow and potential profits may be lost. This is the best way to maximize your potential and reach your ceiling as a company.

If you have an internet marketing site, you will want your website to be seen. The best way to accomplish this is to get listed with Google, as it has the most traffic of all the search engines out there. Once you are indexed there, your site traffic will increase and your business will, as well.

Make sure that the colors you use on your site do not make it hard for users to find navigation links. If your site is in black but your navigation links are in royal blue users may not see them and that would mean less time they will spend on your site.

We have been taught from a young age to respect authority, so use this training to your advantage in your promotional materials. Sign off on materials using your company title. If you are just starting out, if you’re leading the way, you can still be the president or CEO. Remember to take credit for material you produce, too.

Streamline your website so it loads quickly and viewers can jump right to the section they want, through links or buttons. Make the links and buttons obvious, so no one has to waste time searching for them and keep the same general layout and style from page to page. Set up the site for easy navigation between pages, so viewers do not get frustrated and wander off to another site.

To promote your business with internet marketing send out a press release. This may sound like an old fashioned approach, but press releases are still effective online. You can set up a mailing list for your website to ensure that those interested will get relevant notifications. Search for bloggers with similar interests who will be interested to know about your business and might help spread Internet word of mouth.

Be basic and specific. Remember your visitor base includes a wide array of people, with different amounts of knowledge of your products. Use laymen’s terms to describe things, but also include the individual specifications for those more advanced. Catering to all of your readers will likely increase sales from all sides of the spectrum.

Closed captions are one of the best tools that you can use on your website. This will allow your company to appeal to all potential customers who have hearing problems and will show that you are a universal brand. Take this into consideration if you want to expand your customer base.

Know what tools are best for you and your business. There are several tools out there to help with internet marketing, but that doesn’t mean they are all going to work for you or your business. You want to make sure that you are only using those that are going to generate real results so you aren’t wasting your time in fruitless ventures.

An easy-to-use, efficient ordering system can attract and retain more customers. Your marketing should highlight how quick and intuitive your checkout feature is; it should also include specific directions to guide the user through the ordering process, regardless of whether your product is purchased online or must be picked up in-store.

You should always hire other people to do all of the small work for you so that you have time to focus on the larger things. Reading and responding to emails, fielding questions, and requesting proposals are all things that you can get someone else to do instead of trying to do them yourself.

Take a critical look at your website and if you can’t hire someone else to review it for you. We all think our creations are beautiful, but sometimes we can’t see what everyone else sees. Do not consider your site a stagnant thing, it should always be changing and improving.

one of the best internet marketing ideas is to start a ‘buy the most wins’ contest. You can make this a weekly, monthly, or yearly contest and it is a great way to motivate customers to not only buy your products, but to keep buying them time and time again.

A great internet marketing tip is to turn some of your advertising banners into questions that your customers would be interested in answering. Pose a trivia question or something and tell your visitors they might win a prize if they answer the questions correctly. This provides extra incentive to click on your ads.

To attract a wider customer base, give your customers a choice of paying either the retail or a wholesale price that you figure out in advance. For the wholesale price, you can charge a monthly or yearly fee in addition to the wholesale cost of the products, so that you don’t lose a ton of money.

Make sure that you participate on other online forums and message boards. You can provide answers to people’s questions, ask your own questions, and post your own accurate information. Also include your site link in your signature if it’s allowed in that community. This will attract more traffic to your site and most likely more sales for you.

Now that you are no longer in the dark about internet marketing, it is time to start applying the useful information from the article above. If you believe that your idea is a great one, don’t let it fail because you ignored the practical tips that could make all the difference

5 Reasons Why Mobile Marketing Can Put Your Online Home Business on the Map

Mobile marketing is all the rage on the Web these days as cell phone usage continues to soar worldwide. According to a mobile local ads website: “4,239,956 people are having a cell phone conversation at any given second in the world. 15% of Americans have interrupted sex to answer a cell phone call. 32% of men and 23% of women say they can’t live without their cell phone.”

This mobile phone phenomenon has created a tremendous marketing opportunity for Internet marketers and online home business owners everywhere. Some are predicting that mobile marketing will some day claim number one spot over email marketing as an advertising medium.

Mobile marketing is any type of advertising or product promotion that utilizes cell phones. This media is not only limited to text messaging, as some people believe, but you can also use voice messages, apps and mobile websites to get your point across.

This relatively new Internet marketing frontier provides several advantages to Internet entrepreneurs who are willing to get involved.

1. First of all, this advertising channel is very easy to set up and to implement. All you really need is a list of prospects and access to an online mobile service willing to send your messages. If you can compose an email advertisement and send an email you can create a cell phone marketing campaign.

2. Another reason to take advantage of this new opportunity is people on average check their text messages and their voicemail more often than their email messages. This means it’s easier to get your message to your prospective customers.

3. Timing is everything in the world of Internet marketing and with text messaging you can reach your target immediately. People check their texts as they arrive while an email message may be sitting in someone’s inbox for days or may even get lost entirely in a spam folder.

4. Believe it or not there are still people who don’t have an email address while 91% of Americans own a mobile device. This also increases the chance of your home business message getting to your intended recipient.

5. Currently this market is virtually untapped because, as with most things, people are reluctant to experiment with something new. This means, once again, that timing is everything and this couldn’t a better moment to get involved before the market becomes too competitive.

Mobile marketing is the new kid on the Internet marketing block and if you’re serious about creating another revenue stream for your online home business you should give this opportunity serious consideration.

Is Your Business Online? Learn The Tips To Successful Internet Marketing!

Make sure people understand what your website is about right away. Certain companies have managed to attract a lot of visitors by creating a mysterious website and promising people to tell them more if they come back later. This might be a good strategy to launch a new product, but you should work on building a solid visitor base first.

If you are going to use classified ads, make sure you use a title that will stand out. You can use capital letters and bold characters. Do not go over the top as most people know not to trust ads that try too hard and that might turn out to be scams.

Unless you are a huge, well-known website, you can not expect new customers to do all of their business online. Many customers are leery of putting their credit care number online, especially if it is a company they have never heard of. Take time to chat with your customers if they call or email to make them feel better about buying from you.

Do not be upset if your website is small when you are just starting out, just be sure you are doing all you can to promote positive internet marketing. Internal links should be done correctly and all of your content should work at all times. Do not overload your small website with internal links, as relevant placement does more than bombarding your customers does.

It may be wise to hire domain professional when starting your internet marketing business. These professionals will be more apt to find you a better deal than you would be able to find on your own. They can also offer you professional advice that you have not have known otherwise.

Do your research online about existing scams, and make sure your business does not look like any of them. In the worst case scenario, a scam could even use your company’s name and reputation to disguise a scam. Make sure you use techniques that inspire confidence and adopt an honest and open attitude towards your products.

One tip that some people swear by as a means to raise the level of internet marketing is to broadcast telemarketing ads as a means of promotion. Some insist that this is a captivating promotional idea. Use this strategy to help boost your ad ratio while using product reviews.

Although it may seem complicated now, you can tell from the tips you read above that implementing the right tactics is not going to be a difficult thing. Everything seems complicated until you learn about it, then suddenly that fog lifts and it all makes sense. Study these tips until everything makes sense to you and get started with your marketing efforts.


Facebook for Your Business: Why You Should Create a Facebook Page

Should you start using Facebook for your business promotion needs? The answer is pretty much a no-brainer, especially if your business is largely based online. And if you don’t have a website but feel the need to create an online presence for your company, a Facebook page is the perfect alternative.

Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits your company or website will enjoy when you use Facebook for your business. First of all, since Facebook is free to use, you don’t have to invest in a domain name and web hosting if you don’t want to. Some companies use their Facebook page solely for the purpose of acting as their official website. Some even employ Facebook add-ons to add full-page graphics to their Facebook walls. These are often click-able, and can direct viewers to a special promotion on your website or to a product you are selling.

Next, Facebook offers probably the best way to find out who likes your company. With just a simple click of the “Like” button, your fans can subscribe to all of your updates, post comments on your statuses, write on your Facebook wall and more. The more interaction you allow on your page (which can be edited in the page settings area), the more you’ll encourage your followers to pay attention to what you say when you post an update.

You can use your platform on Facebook to notify fans of changes to your website, sales and promotions, special offers and more. If you really want to start getting personal, upload pictures of employees hanging out in the office, making new products, designing site layouts or whatever else comes to mind. Since Facebook is all about socializing, the more you get personal, the better you’ll connect with your fans.

Just like email newsletters or Tweets, you need to post updates and reach out to your followers on a regular basis. With social media, this should be perhaps more frequent than you send out your email newsletters. Even if you don’t have much to say, simply showing your fans you care is a good way to keep followers from hitting the “unlike” button. You might think about posting a status daily, or at least a few times a week. Keep your company’s updates flowing through their feeds, but don’t pepper them with too much needless information or spammy posts.

Try to fill up your page with visually interesting media as much as possible. Photos, logos, Facebook wallpapers, and other colorful, eye-catching media are a great start. You might even try to post videos from time to time, even if they only detail seemingly monotonous aspects of your business. You never know what might catch a client’s interest!

You really don’t have anything to lose by using Facebook for your business. Just be sure to promote your page on your website, business cards, ads, commercials and any other medium you use to draw clients to your website or company. The more “likes” you get, the more followers you’ll receive, and that translates to more sales.

Tired of Business Lead Generation Struggles?

Are you tired of struggling to find highly targeted leads for your business, product or service? Is it taking way too much time and money to try to generate leads for your business? Would you like to discover how to generate more leads in order to create more new business partners or sales? How are you creating highly targeted leads for your success and how are you closing sales in your business?

Most businesses do not have adequate training and techniques and support for building a business or locating highly targeted leads for the business, service or products they promote. You might have the greatest product or service in the world, with the greatest prices or compensation plan in the world, but none of that matters if you cannot locate people who are interested in what you have to offer.

Another huge hurdle that gets in the way for most entrepreneurs is the need to follow up with whatever leads are generated. It is very important that you stay in touch with potential business partners or customers in order to develop relationships. How do you find time to create the highly critical relationship with a potential business partner or customer on the internet?

It takes time and effort to develop a trusting relationship with potential customers or business partners. Do you have time to call or e-mail each and every potential business partner or customer?

How would you handle the load if you generated more highly targeted leads a day as your business or customer list increased? Would you be able to keep up with all the calling or emailing that it would take to makes sales or create new business partners on the internet? That could take 8 hours a day to keep up with new leads generated on a daily basis. How would you get to new customers or business partners if you are spending all your time marketing and generating new leads for more potential customers and business partners? It is just not possible.

In order to generate the most success from your leads you must be able to follow up, provide knowledge in your area of expertise that they cannot find anywhere else, stay in contact with these people, and develop a real relationship with these potential business partners or customers. People do not join businesses, they join people. People do not just buy from anyone on the internet anymore, they shop for the best prices and most often the most trusted resources to purchase what they are looking for on the internet.

The Importance of Short URL for Marketing

Marketing has always been highly important whenever we think of any kind of product. From a pen to an organization everything and everybody needs marketing. Marketing simply means popularizing or advertising the thing which we want the people to come to know. Nowadays with the advancement in communication, internet has been a great help in marketing. It is fast, accessible from all over the world and it gives a huge audience if one knows the technique. For advertising something on internet we first need to store the detailed information about the product somewhere in the net. For this we need a website, this website will be only accessible by an address provided to us by the internet. This address is the URL (Uniform Resource Locator); this will be the key to our marketing.

URL is the addresses given to us by the internet when we build or create a website. This URL is a line of characters and strings which has a domain name aligned in a proper syntax. This URL is what we need to take care of. All the people will not be able to know about our website directly so we need to understand their need and cater it by designing a suitable URL which will attract them to visit our website. So we can say that a short URL becomes perfect for this job. The short URL has a number of importances when it comes to marketing. For marketing generally the first step is to advertise which can easily be done by sharing the URL name in any sort of social networking site. For this we need a small URL name as because few social networking site has a limited character for sharing (like twitter which provides 140 character for sharing), so a big name will be very improper and insignificant. When we are giving a big name we can easily shorten it instead and make it much more attractive.

The next thing is that communication is only successful when the message delivered by the source to the recipient is precise and to attractive. So when we share the URL on the social networking site we cannot expect people to be even interested in going through an address which is lengthy. So the people when comes up with a short URL they tend to gain the interest. This might also be said according to the study there has been a small statistical record which refers to the fact that the URL with a shorter length gets clicked more often than the long ones. So we need to accept the study and go along with it.

Lastly and may be the most important is to create a suspense when we are thinking of advertisement, the short URL’s do not have a specific name thus they don’t describe the webpage nor the product. This suspense mostly attracts the users to just check the link. Even if most of the time it is seen that may be the website is not at all useful to the customer but still they visit them. It is very obvious that ones he or she knows the content by the URL name he will not be interested anymore if it is not in his field of interest. This will hamper the website gradually so a small name is better. Obviously there are risks and disadvantages but unless we take those risks we will not be successful in fulfilling our desire.

How to Use Facebook for Business: Five Top Tips

There are a number of ways you can begin learning how to use Facebook for business. Facebook offers a variety of methods, free and paid, that help you gain more exposure for your company. This is especially helpful if you have a brand new website that you need to promote, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money in doing so.

Here are some ways you can start promoting your company using Facebook. Remember, you can start small. You don’t have to use the paid options if you don’t want to.

1. Make a basic Facebook fan page: Just clicking the “Create a page” button on Facebook will launch you on a three-step process that’s very quick and simple to complete. All you have to do is input the name of the website or company (which cannot be changed, by the way, so make it right the first time!), upload a photo or company logo, and add a company bio or description. Voila! Your page is now up and running.

2. Network with your friends: If you don’t want to learn how to use Facebook for business by paying other people to promote your page, than promote it yourself. Ask your Facebook friends to “like” your page, and offer to like one of theirs in return if they have one.

3. Pay for others to get likes for you: Many start-up web developers and freelance consultants offer services on the side that involve collecting Facebook likes on your behalf. Some offer as many as 500 likes, depending upon how much money you pay them and how much time you give them to go out and get those likes. This is generally a fairly inexpensive endeavor. For instance, some people charge just a few dollars to collect 25 to 50 likes.

4. Pay for ads: Advertise your Facebook page by paying Facebook to post your ad alongside others’ profiles. Select an eye-catching photo that will grab their attention, and write a few words of copy. You might even offer a special deal to those who like your page within a certain time frame. Everyone loves getting a deal, and the more deals you offer in return for likes, the more likes and fans you’ll receive.

5. Trade promotions with a similar business: Instead of making your competition your enemy, make them your friend. Offer to promote their page in a status if they’ll do the same for you. Your page will be promoted amongst their followers, and their page will get exposure amongst your followers. You can even “like” each others pages. These likes will show up on the left side of your fan page, so that when fans visit the page, they’ll see that a company has liked yours and may be inclined to like it as well.

These ideas should help you get started in learning how to use Facebook for business. Remember to start off with the free ideas, then move to the paid ones as you see fit.

Pros and Cons Of Outsourcing Online and What To NOT Outsource

As a webmaster, you should be viewing your website as an online business if you ever hope to make any money from it whether that’s from affiliate marketing, advertising revenue, etc. Developing your online business involves regular and oftentimes daily tasks of SEO, link building, perhaps maintaining a PPC/paid advertising campaign and your email list as a few examples.

Eventually you may find that you simply don’t have time for many of these daily routines, especially if you’re managing multiple websites. A lot of webmasters regularly outsource a number of the above mentioned tasks; so let’s consider the pros and cons of outsourcing if you’re thinking about it for yourself and your business along with what you should NOT be outsourcing no matter how much time it saves.


Obviously it’s a time saver. It saves you from concerning yourself with mundane and time consuming trivial grunt work tasks so that you can focus on the things which really matter such as creating content and other things which affect people’s direct perception of you.


You’re giving up control, meaning you’ve got someone else out there representing you in whatever it is that they’re doing for you. This makes you potentially responsible for someone else’s potential mistakes.
It cuts into your revenue stream; though you can make a case against this if you work out your time versus money value ratio.

Things to NOT Outsource

Email Marketing – A lot of work goes into developing an email list. You can learn the fastest way to successfully develop your list among other things by immediately downloading my free Complete Email Marketing Blueprint. Whenever you send out an email, you’re developing a relationship with that person as they grow accustomed to a number of things about you which includes your own unique voice. You want to treat your subscribers with the utmost precision care, so outsourcing this aspect of your business is not something I recommend.

PPC – Any instance in which you’re spending your own actual money to make something happen (excluding outsourcing itself) is a case in which I wouldn’t trust someone else to take the reins. PPC is a prime example of this, so unless you’re hiring out to a professional PPC person who knows what they’re doing and who will pay attention to your PPC campaign frequently, I wouldn’t recommend outsourcing this aspect as a PPC campaign in unsure hands can end up costing you a lot of money.

Your Site’s Content – One thing which I would also never outsource (save for possibly in the form of guest blogging) is the actual content on my site. This includes doing keyword research, as well. While it’s time consuming creating new content for my sites on a regular basis, this is what people most identify with me, so I want to make sure it’s written by me.

Press Releases – In a similar vein, I recommend writing your own press releases unless you’re on the level where a professional PR company is doing it for you. You should be choosing the words which you want to describe your site which people will read; don’t leave this in the hands of someone who is any less familiar with your business than you are.

Things TO Outsource

Article Marketing – Article marketing is one thing which you can generally feel safe outsourcing. This can simply entail someone reposting your content on article directories or writing fresh content for you. If you have someone knowledgeable in your niche and whom you like the writing style of, outsourcing is appropriate here so you can create lots of articles to distribute across the net.

Social Networking – Posting your content on social networks is pretty simple to do. Actually it can be outsourced to an automated program, so you’re likely fine with relying on technology rather than a person; so whether you’re trying to build your Twitter following.

Support – If you have a product which you are selling yourself then outsourcing support for that product is a MAJOR time saver. Only do this with people who are fully familiarized with your product so they can deliver the highest level of quality support to your customers.

Blog/Forum Commenting – While people become accustomed to your voice on blogs and forums just as they do in email marketing, the stakes aren’t nearly as high. Blog and forum commenting can be great sources of traffic and link juice when used correctly, so assuming the person you outsource to has an understanding of what you’re doing on your site then this can save you a lot of time while building up your reputation at influential blogs and forums in your niche.

Technical Things – Anything technical or related to web design is a fine thing to outsource especially if you’re not especially knowledgeable about these things yourself.

And one last point – Make sure your system is working perfectly before you start to outsource. You want to know that what you’re instructing your contractor to do exactly works to a “t”, so assuming they stick to your specific instructions there won’t be any issues.