‘E-Retailing’ Category

Warning: Bad Shipping Deal Can Kill Your Internet Store

November 20th, 2009

Here is a scary statistic as reported by USA Today: “More than 40% of people who abandoned their online shopping carts said they did so because of high shipping costs, according to a recent survey by the online payment company PayPal.” In other words, nearly half of all your customers — that you work to bring to your site, that you work to get a sale from — will dump you on the sole reason of the shipping charge. And that percentage is undoubtedly going to grow:

Increasingly — especially during the holiday period — consumers want free shipping, no strings attached. “While 25% of retailers offered no-strings free-shipping deals during the holidays five years ago, 57% say they’ll do so at some time this holiday season.”

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Black Friday/Cyber Monday: “10 Last-Minute Tips” for Internet Retailers

November 20th, 2009

Channel Adviser is offering “10 Last-Minute Tips”  for internet retailers, who want to maximize sales during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. For your contact info, you get to download a PDF with the tips.  Here’s one of the tips:

“Prominently display holiday shipping deadlines
It’s vital to eliminate every possible reason for a shopper to abandon your site and purchase from somewhere else, so have your
holiday shipping cutoff dates as easy to find as possible on every single page of your store. Label it clearly: “Guaranteed Christmas
Delivery,” “Holiday Shipping Cutoff” and “Gifts on Time” are better than “Holiday Info.” Keep in mind that you are serving a variety of
customers who may celebrate different holidays, so make sure to weave this into your policies and messaging.”

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Huff Post’s “Megan Fox Wears Panties; Lifts Foot Above Head (PHOTOS)”

November 19th, 2009

You gotta admire Huff Post for the eye-catching headlines, like this one.  The Huffington Post, a liberal blog and news site, was launched in 2005 and now has 22 million unique visitors a month and is the most linked-to blog on the internet. While Megan Fox, her panties, and photos of both are not the typical content of Huff Post, this is an example of how a blog can build its breadth and expand its audience (yes we’re serious and having serious fun writing this). Never underestimate the power of an eye-catching headline in your blog or other site — especially when it gets linked like this :)

Image: Megan Fox Wears Panties, Lifts Foot Above Head (PHOTOS)

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Zappos.com: $1 Billion in Sales

April 18th, 2009

This week The Economist magazine has an interesting article on Zappos.com, the online shoe store that is branching out into other products. Computer Science graduate Tony Hsieh started the company in 1999 and last year it rang up sales of $1 billion. Zappos is distinctly different from many online stores in that it is decidedly not so automatic (as opposed to the Amazon model). Hsieh once described Zappos as a “A service company that just happens to sell shoes.” Job interviewees are asked who their favorite superhero is. New employees are given an option to quit for $2,000. All this to weed out those who are not committed to the wow-service culture of Zappos.

Again, this is an example about finding the edge and the niche. While most internet wags harp about the greatness of automation and working as least as possible (Rich Dog Millionaire is guilty as charged here), other guys are going out and making a billion dollars by essentially doing the opposite. Hsieh is building a brand that he can expand into other areas, not unlike Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Book Review: “The Home-Based Bookstore” by Steve Weber

April 14th, 2009

Author Steve Weber begins his book, The Home-Based Bookstore, by saying: “Selling used books on the internet is one of the greatest opportunities available to small entrepreneurs today.”  Weber has sold over $1 million in used books to customers in over 30 countries. You can start small, making a few hundred dollars a month, maybe beginning with books on your own shelf; and you can grow it into a full-time business. First, Weber tells you where you can find used books, and he explains what kind of books to search for — versus the types of books to avoid (i.e., fiction mostly, especially books that have been best-sellers since, obviously, there’s a lot of copies out there). He then goes into where to sell your books. Amazon, of course, is on the list. If you go to a book detail page on Amazon, you will see an option to buy a used copy of the book. Here, booksellers of all sorts sell their wares. Abebooks is another major marketplace. (You can also build your own site.)

Weber teaches you how to price the books, inventory them, and manage your business, from sales to fullfillment, to customer service, and — one of our favorite topics — advanced automation. There’s an interesting chapter on collectible books (people are looking for first editions). Robert Chamber’s 1939 classic “The Big Sleep” currently goes for over $12,500.

The Home-Based Bookstore: Start Your Own Business Selling Used Books on Amazon, eBay or Your Own Web Site

(reviewed by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“Doubling Sales Every Month”: The Big Growth Industry

April 12th, 2009

As the population ages and babyboomers enter their older years, marketing to and for this group is a BIG growth business/industry. Internet Retailer magazine reports that Parentgiving.com has been doubling sales every month, even without much advertising or promotion.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

How to Turn WordPress into an Online Store

April 11th, 2009

We have just come across something we love and recommend: Market Theme for WordPress — it basically turns your WordPress blog into an online store. As we said in our popular post, WordPress: Making Other Websites Obsolete, the free open-source WordPress  “is making other website-building options, or the need for those options, nearly obsolete… With the right themes and the necessary plug-ins and widgets, your “blog” can look like, and operate as, just about any kind of site.” And here is a perfect, usable example. One of our team members has been planning on building an online store. He has looked into many options, including Yahoo Stores and Amazon Services. Both are good, but our buddy has already been using WordPress — he knows it, he loves it, so why change. Also, instead of paying the monthly Yahoo and Amazon fees, you download the Market Theme for a one-time license fee of $55 (or a $150 fee for a developer license).

So if you already use WordPress, this is a no-brainer. If you haven’t tried WordPress before, we highly recommend you start, for just about all your internet entrepreneurial needs.

Click here to view more details on the Market “Online Store” Theme.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Blog Like Hugh Hefner, Or Build an Internet Business Like That

April 11th, 2009

One of us just finished the biography of Hugh Hefner, Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream. The key take-way — that kept coming back again and again — is that, Hefner was not only the Editor and Publisher — he was also the demographic. In other words, he was putting together a magazine that HE would want to read. In MORE other words, he built a business that he was passionate about. And THAT is the key to success. Look at McDonald’s: Ray Kroc was not passionate about hamburgers; he was passionate about franchising, and one of his executives was passionate about real estate — the result: a $40 billion business.

What we’re saying is, you need to build a business around something you are passionate about. “Naked girls, sounds good!” Yes, grasshoppers, but look at the situation, Hefner saw the opportunity in 1953 — in a world of Esquire-type mags — for nudity, in a cool, sophisticated way. He wrote a whole Playboy philosophy about it. So what are you passionate about? Yes, it can be sexual, but what opportunity can you find today, in 2009? If you blog about your passion — or if you build an e-retail site about your passion — you are automatically WAY AHEAD of your competition, if they are just thinking of it as a way to make bucks. You will eventually make more bucks because you will attract those who have the same passion as you. You will have no problem blogging about your topic late at night, after work (or adding another product to your online store) because you like — love — doing it, just like your readers/customers love it.

Expertise — and eventual success — is simply, ultimately, the result of passion.

(original content by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rent Out Your Stuff Online $$

April 9th, 2009

This morning we posted info on Live Deal, which is an eBay-type company that focuses on local business. A buddy reminded us about Zilok — “the online rental marketplace” — where you can rent (or for our purposes, rent out) just about anything: tools, electronics, appliances, cars, vacation homes… you name it.  This is actually a very exciting website for us. First, it suggests yet another business angle for the internet; second, it’s another marketplace for anyone to make money. Jeff Boudier, the General Manager of Zilok in the U.S. (it is a Belgian-based company) explains how the system works on the NBC San Diego Youtube clip below. He says that 80% of everything you have is, on average, used less than once month. A power drill is used, on average, only 12 minutes during its entire lifespan. So why not put items like that to work and rent them out. It’s a novel — and obvious — idea. Zilok charges a commission based on the rental cost.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Internet Garage Sales, An Alternative to EBay and Craigslist

April 9th, 2009

Let’s say you have a big plasma-screen TV, or a vintage Ford Mustang, or a litter of Siberian Huskies, and you are looking to sell them to a loving buyer. Do you go to eBay, and end up shipping the TV, the car, or the puppies across the country? Well, you could. But it might get ridiculously expensive, and the puppies might not like it. A good alternative is www.livedeal.com. They are sort of a cross between eBay and Craiglist, and they service over 70,000 zip codes in the U.S. So if you have something too big to ship, or if your shipment might get too agitated, try Live Deal.

(original content by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,