From the Editor – July/August 2009 eBiz Insider magazine. Download the complete issue as a PDF by clicking here.
Be all you can be to capture sales this holiday season
In one forum I frequent, a new store owner asked, “What do we need to do to get ready for the fourth quarter, holiday time?”
I was shocked by the reply from a fellow e-commerce store owner: “Stop spending money. Fourth quarter will be worse than last year.”
While unemployment is high and consumer spending remains low, there isn’t anyone out there who can definitively tell us if the 2009 holiday season is going to be good or bad. And that’s the truth. To tell a business owner to “stop spending money” is just plain foolish. This is the type of advice your competitor wants you to take!
When the economy started failing, I saw businesses immediately pull their pay-per-click advertising and I started shaking my head. You can cut back on campaigns that aren’t providing a good return, but to simply shut off your advertising is like turning off the lights, going home, and retreating under the bed. Making hasty judgments out of fear or despair is no way to run a business — in a good economy or bad. Making informed decisions that are backed by analytics and best practices is.
Here are my recommendations for making the best out of an uncertain upcoming holiday season:
- Don’t Sacrifice Service – provide clear policies and contact info and provide phone support (Need help? See page 18)
- Be Descriptive – use unique, detailed product descriptions
- Keep it Simple – avoid clutter. Marc Manfre has more about that on page 10
- Invest in Features that Convert- Donna Talarico gives ideas on page 14
- Embrace Social Media – spread messages and build a following. It’s hot and free.
- Use Comparison Shopping Engines – these are major (sometimes overlooked) sources of revenue
- Negotiate! – get better rates with suppliers and other vendors
- Spend Wisely – make smart advertising choices, don’t overbuy inventory, and watch your ROI
This rest of this issue is jam-packed with more tactics on how to boost your business this holiday season and beyond. Here’s to a good season!