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Browse Tag: PR

Offline-Online Promotion For Small Businesses – Part 4

Mini CD Find Me If You Can - iStudioWeb BlogThis wouldn’t be a guide to promote your small business offline, but rather a rant of small business owner who tries to do something good – and not quite succeeded.

Yesterday I spend a good hour and a half searching for small CDs at local stores – both computer oriented and those selling office supplies. While regular small CDs were sporadically available at certain merchants, the business card CDs were nowhere to be found. At a single store only I was able to find a mini-CD in quantities over 8 pieces for 8 dollars.

The story with CD labels was even worse. If you are looking for regular-sized CD labels – you are all set pretty much anywhere you go. But if you thought you could find labels for any other CD size – think again!

Overall I visited around 8 stores, 5 of them were Staples and Office Depots, three others were BestBuy, DataVision and CompUSA (that was a sorry view). While trying to order labels online at Neato I almost got hit with a charge of $50.01 for shipping on 200 pages of two sorts of labels. The amount itself was about 40% higher then the price of labels.

The Irony of WordPress Themes

Most of WordPress bloggers know that there are hundreds of themes to make your blog different from others. Some bloggers create lists, contests and other blog theme promotion events. Of course, the presentation is important, there is no doubt about it.

What is, actually, puzzles me is that while we, bloggers, spend tremendous amounts of time tweaking and twisting quite a number of themes – most of the people read blogs through subscriptions – RSS or e-mail. All the beauty of
tweaked theme with endless hours invested is lost on the most loyal part of the audience.

Most people aren’t attracted by the theme the blog is using. They aren’t here to watch how masterfully blogger managed to blend AdSense with content with couple of banners and with affiliate links. They are here for content. They see the blog for a minute or two, or maybe even five, to determine if the blog is worth subscribing for.Then they proceed to subscribe to the feed. That’s about all the time that the theme is watched.

Sometimes the blog’s theme is so cumbersome, overloaded with ads that the content is almost lost. Yet, we can see quite a number of subscribers. They read the blog through the RSS or e-mail. They have something to say.

Strange, isn’t it? Bloggers overall make a hefty sum (that includes those who makes six figures and those who make six cents) off of the ads and affiliate links posted in the blog itself. Maybe, subconsciously, we reward loyal bloggers with absence of ads-in-your-face. Just as a way of saying thank you.

So, if you already reading this blog via any kind of subscription – thank you 🙂

Retail Online

These are the features ranked according to the number of top 500 retailers that are using them (as per Internet Retailer Magazine):

  1. keyword search
  2. daily/seasonal specials
  3. enlarged product view
  4. what’s new
  5. affiliate program
  6. advanced search
  7. online gift certificates
  8. rich media
  9. outlet center
  10. email a friend
  11. coupons/rebates
  12. top sellers
  13. site personalization
  14. alternative payments
  15. store locator
  16. wish list
  17. customer reviews
  18. catalog quick order
  19. mapping
  20. product customization

Interesting enough as well that most consumers (according to Forrester) are willing to decline paying for “flare”:

Fewer consumers are willing to pay for extras such as gift wrapping, or overnight delivery.
(26% of respondents said they would pay for expedited delivery prior to the holiday season, down from 45% who said they would do so in 2006.)

Generally, what this means is that consumers want to get their purchase faster, easier and with less extras then before. For most of the prospective clients that call us, top five requests for web site are:

  1. Large pictures/ability for visitor to enlarge product image
  2. Search engine optimization/marketing
  3. Ability to quickly add and remove inventory items
  4. Ability to post featured/for sale items
  5. Ability to use various discount codes to track promotions

It is obvious that trends for small and large businesses are almost the same. The slight difference is attributed to overall approach to ways of doing business for small business owners and large retailers.