Creative Ways to Expand Your Product Line to Increase Sales

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Adding more products to your online shop is another obvious way to increase your sales. Now, it might not always increase your profits right away because costs could increase with the addition of the new products, but it is another obvious way to grow your business. So, what are some creative ways to expand your current product line?


creative ways to expand your product line to increase sales

Start by taking a look at your current product line and see if you can offer different:

  • Colors
  • Materials / Ingredients
  • Shapes
  • Sizes
  • Scents
  • Languages
  • Embellishments
  • Styles
  • Prices
  • Uses

For example, one of my customers, Bad Tags, sells cute dog tags in a variety of sayings, colors and shapes. They even have tags that indicate if a dog has special needs and add-on accessories such as rhinestone rings for the tags. Therefore, how do they expand their current product line even further to increase sales? Since their tags do have sayings, maybe they could offer them in different languages other than English to broaden the market; or they could do a higher priced line of dog tags with embedded birthstones or diamonds (trust me, there are customers for this); or they offer a dog tag that has an LED light in it so the dog is seen when walking it at night. They have customers buying tags for animal fundraisers, so they could offer a value bundle strictly for fundraising purposes.

I know a lot of art and photography shops have taken their art and put in on everything from t-shirts to mugs, which is great, but now everyone is doing it, which is not so great. However, these shops could take their work and sell it in a different form, such as an image spliced into three images. They could try putting the art or photograph onto a trendy new medium, such as glass, or onto supplies such as fabric and ribbon and now they can sell to other businesses instead of just to the end user.

Even repackaging items can help if you don’t wish to add new products. If you sell monogram necklaces, for example, sell a mother daughter monogram necklace set, which means you now get two sales but to the customer it looks like one. If you sell baby blankets, sell a set of three together that are embroidered with “crib”, “car”, and “stroller”. Simple ways to turn your current products into more listings.

Need ideas on how to expand your product line? I can take a look at your products and give you ideas on how to expand, just book my 30-Minute Phone Consultation.

Trending This Week

  • May 28 – #NationalHamburgerDay
  • May 29 – #SundayFleaMarket
  • May 30 – #MemorialDay, #TheBachelorette
  • May 31 – #NationalWearAFlowerDay
  • June 1 – #WednesdayFamily
  • June 2 –#ThursdayThoughts
  • June 3 – #NationalDonutDay

© 2016. Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

The Single Most Obvious Way to Increase Your Sales

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

When it comes to increasing your sales, there are many options you have including spending more on marketing, adding more products, raising your prices, but the single, most obvious one is increasing your traffic.

the single most obvious way to increase your sales

How to Increase Your Sales

For example, let’s say that in 2015 your sales were $30,000, and this year you would like sales to be $45,000. Therefore, this is 50 percent growth that you are looking for because ($45,000-$30,000)/$30,000 is 50 percent. So if you want your sales to grow by 50%, this means that logically, your traffic has to grow by 50%.

Now, let’s say your overall traffic is currently 10,000 visitors a month. If you want your sales to grow by 50%, then it would make sense that traffic needs grow by 50% to 15,000 visitors a month.

How to Grow Your Traffic

How do you grow your traffic? Well, if the majority of your traffic is coming from Google and you are currently spending $500 a month on Google ads, then it would make sense that you need to increase your Google ad spending by 50% to $750 a month (again, this is just a simplistic solution; maybe you can spend the same amount and just improve upon your keywords).

What if the majority of your traffic is coming from social media sites? Then you need to increase your time spent marketing on social media as well as your followers by 50%.

If you currently have back links to your shop from 10 different sources that are consistently driving traffic, then you need to grow the number of links driving traffic to your site by 50%, in other words, acquire 5 more back links.

In layman terms, essentially everything you are doing in terms of generating traffic needs to increase by 50%, if this is your sales objective. Remember, doing the same things over and over again will unlikely generate different results, so you have to make changes.

As I said, this is the single, most obvious way to increase your sales. It is not the only solution, I will cover those in a future post, but it is a good benchmark to start with.

Trending This Week

  • May 20 – #FridayReads
  • May 21 – #SaturdayFunday
  • May 22 – #NBAPlayoffs, #GameOfThrones
  • May 23 – #MondayCrush
  • May 24 – #TuesdayMotivation
  • May 25 – #NationalWineDay
  • May 26 – #NationalBlueberryCheesecakeDay

Feel free to share this post, and if your business is struggling, check out my Marketing Services including my economical Quick Fix ($25)

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Price Your Products to Appeal to the Gift Market

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I often see people offering $20 necklaces for Mother’s Day and I sort of cringe. Now, I would expect a $20 necklace from my 13 year-old son for Mother’s Day, but I’m not going to buy a $20 necklace for my mother, it just feels too cheap. I realize some people are on tight budgets, but gifts take on a life of their own as everyone has a price point they feel is appropriate. If you are positioning an item as a potential gift, you may want to know some stats about the average prices people spend, so you are pricing your products for the correct gift giver.


How to price your products for the gift market

Grad Gift Pricing

The National Retail Federation said that college graduation gifts hit a new high last year to an average price of $102.50. Now, this price is a range covering parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., and you can safely assume that parents will spend the most.

Valentine’s Day Gift Pricing

The National Retail Federation also indicated that the average price spent on a Valentine’s gift in 2015 was $146.84, and that men tend to spend more on the gift than women do.

Wedding Gift Pricing

Again, I often see $25 products being positioned as a wedding gift and I think no way. According to American Express people will spend $179 on a close family member’s wedding gift, $119 on a close friend’s, $114 on a relative’s, $79 on a friend’s, and $66 on a coworker’s for an average of $108.

Anniversary Gift Pricing

Now, what about anniversary gifts? According to research done by the Daily Mail, couples spend on average $170 on the first anniversary, $173 on the 10th anniversary, $242 on the 25th anniversary and $208 on the 40th anniversary. Again, this is couples buying for each other, not children buying for parents. 

Baby Shower Gift Pricing

The consensus at the blog, Baby Center suggests that the average amount spent on a baby shower gift is $20 to $25 for a co-worker or acquaintance, $50 for a close friend, or $100 for a best friend or family member (or a group gift).

Kids Birthday Party Gift Pricing

According to Learnvest, most people spend $10 to $20 on gifts for regular classmates but $20 to $25 for your child’s closest friends (at the elementary school level).

Teacher Gift Pricing

The price spent on a teacher’s gift does vary according to a person’s budgets, but Parenting magazine says the range for teacher’s gifts is $20 to $75.

This why many people avoid trying to target an individual or occasion altogether and will simply have shop categories entitled: Gifts $10 to $25, Gifts $25 to $50, Gifts $50+ and so forth.

A Real World Pricing Example

I wanted to buy a birthstone necklace for my 16 year-old daughter’s birthday and price was one factor I searched on. I wasn’t even considering any necklace under $50 because it didn’t feel special enough for a 16th birthday. I also didn’t want to go too much over $125 because she is only 16. Therefore, this became my search: “birthstone necklaces $50 to $125″. These are things you need to think about this when targeting a specific gift giver.

Trending This Week

  • May 13 – #NationalApplePieDay, #Fridaythe13th
  • May 14 – #SaturdayWellSpent
  • May 15 – #NBAPlayoffs
  • May 16 – #NationalLoveATreeDay, #MondayBlogs
  • May 17 – #TuesdayTip
  • May 18 – #WednesdayAfternoons
  • May 19 – #NationalDevilsFoodCakeDay, #ThursdayThoughts

Feel free to share this post, and if your business is struggling, check out my very affordable Marketing Services.

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Create a Need for Your Products

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Are you effectively creating a need for your products and/or services? A good rule of thumb is to always think who, what, when, where, how, why. So who would need your product, what would they use it for, when would they use it, where would they use it, how would they use it and why would they use it.

Below are two product copy examples that I will enhance, in order to create the need.



Home Product Copy Example

Take a look at this description from ModCloth (who writes product copy really well) for this 5′ x 6′ beach wall tapestry:

how to create a need for your productsPut your longing for the wash of waves at ease with this oceanic tapestry by Lisa Argyropoulos for DENY Designs. Crystalline water sparkles under a beautifully clouded sky, bringing beachy beauty – and the carefree feeling that comes along with it – to your decor!

Now this is great for capturing the feeling of the product and creating desire. But remember, people don’t just buy products because they like them, they buy because they need them, so you need to create a need. Therefore, I would simply add a closing line that helps the reader visualize how they would use the product, hence identifying a need.

Therefore, I would add this as the last line:

Perfect for apartment dwellers, creating a focal wall or even as a very serene headboard.

As you can see, I gave three potential uses for the item. Even if one of these isn’t your particular need, chances are it could spark one you do have. Buyers can get gun-shy after they buy clothing items they never wear, a decor item they just couldn’t make fit, etc. So you want to ease the purchase decision by giving them ideas in advance.

Jewelry Product Copy Example

Urban Outfitters is another online store that writes copy really well. Here is their description for a black choker:

Screen shot 2016-05-03 at 9.02.14 AMOur must-have styling tip this season is a wide banded choker necklace and this iteration is essential. Chic choker in a sultry gauzy chiffon complete with a lobster clasp closure + extender chain in an antique distressed finish.

So this is effective in that it quickly tells you this is a hot trend and stylishly describes the features. However, not everyone is fashion savvy.

Therefore I would add this line at the end:

This versatile choker looks great layered with other necklaces or on its own with everything from a little black dress to a t-shirt and jeans.

It is also only $22, so another approach would be to say:

An inexpensive way to instantly update your summer wardrobe with one of the hottest trends. 

As you can see, when you create both the desire and the need, you are more likely to get a sale.

Hire Me

Need help with your product descriptions? Learn about my Product Writing Service.


A quick shout out to one of my customers, Design by Gam, whose bracelets were featured last week on PeopleStyleWatch. I love Gam’s message to me – which will help all of you – of how I always told her that she needed at least one of her product shots on a white background in order to get chosen for editorial such as this, and it worked!

Trending This Week

  • May 3 – #TuesdayThoughts, #TeacherAppreciationDay
  • May 4 – #StarWarsDay, #WednesdayWisdom
  • May 5 – #ThursdayFeeling, #CincoDeMayo
  • May 6 – #NBAPlayoffs, #NationalBeverageDay
  • May 7 – #SaturdayKitchen, #NBAPlayoffs, #KentuckyDerby
  • May 8 – #SundayBrunch, #CoconutCreamPieDay, #MothersDay
  • May 9 – #MondayMotivation

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Best Tips for Finding Ideas for New Products

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

If you find that you are running out of inspiration for new products, a good way to find it is to look at what is currently popular, hot and trending – not to jump on the bandwagon but instead turn it into a new opportunity. I’ll explain.



Give a Current Trend a New Twist

For example, monogram jewelry has been a hot seller for the last few years. Therefore, instead of doing the same disc-style, hand stamped monogram necklaces that everyone is doing, retailer Anthropologie (who is always a trend setter) came out with an oversized initial letter necklace – with the letter turned on its side – giving this popular look a new feel.

hot product trends 2


Borrow a Trend That Has Been Popular with Another Product

Sometimes you will see a popular trend in a product category that is completely different from yours, but is it something that would work for what you sell? I am sure you have seen quotes and cute sayings on everything from t-shirts to pillows to tote bags, so why not swimsuits, like this one from Bando. Again, it is another way to capitalize on a hot Instagram-worthy trend just in time for summer.

hot product trends


Exploit the Flaws in Top Selling Products

I have mentioned before how valuable it is to read reviews on Amazon. Nothing beats customer feedback, even if it is not your own customers. So go over to Amazon and check out their top-selling products in your product category. Then read the one and two-star reviews. Take note of what people said the product lacked and/or didn’t do or they just didn’t like. This opens up opportunities for you to add these elements into your own products.

Trending This Week

  • April 26 – #NationalKidsAndPetsDay, #NationalPretzelDay, #GoodTuesday
  • April 27 – #NationalBlueberryPieDay, #WednesdayWellness
  • April 28 – #ThursdayFeeling, #NationalSuperHeroDay
  • April 29 – #NationalAdoptaShelterPetDay, #NBAPlayoffs
  • April 30 – #SaturdaySocial, #NBAPlayoffs
  • May 1 – #NationalMotherGooseDay, #SundayMorning
  • May 2 – #MondayFunday

Quickly Improve Your Online Shop with my Quick Fix ($25) or for a more detailed analysis, my Online Shop Critique ($129).

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Avoid These Product Copy Mistakes

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

One product copy mistake that I see online shops making over and over again is really long, overly complicated descriptions. The standard format that most online shops adhere to (and that Google likes) is an opening paragraph that is descriptive, enticing and creates a need followed by bullet points highlighting the main features (the exception being Etsy, who doesn’t support bullet points).

You do not need 10 paragraphs to describe a $40 necklace. Now, I don’t mind a bit of a back story about the motivation behind the product, but don’t go on and on trying too hard to get the sale or use overly descriptive, flowery language that makes the reader roll their eyes.


Here is a good example of product copy that gets right to the point:

‘I Love Mom’ Pearl Pendant Necklace

An elegant freshwater pearl illuminates a delicate, handcrafted pendant necklace designed to celebrate the special bond between you and your mother. Surprise her with this meaningful, wear-with-everything style to make this Mother’s Day one to remember.Screen shot 2016-04-19 at 8.45.16 PM

  • 18″ length.
  • Lobster clasp closure.
  • Pearl size: 8 mm.
  • Sterling silver/freshwater pearl.
  • Handcrafted in the USA.
  • Item ships in a gift box.

This is a perfect description for a $40 necklace. I don’t need to know the history of the freshwater pearl or how the pearl was cultivated or how this necklace is going to make me feel when I give it to my mother. Sometimes it is better to K-I-S-S.

I also really detest how most shops write their listing titles on Etsy (Amazon is guilty of this as well) with these endless strings of keywords that don’t even make sense. Simply state what the product is with a few descriptive keywords as in the example above, otherwise you are just confusing the customer. Remember, you are trying to establish a brand and you want to protect it with a professional, clear descriptive product title, not a mishmash of keywords.

Find out more about my Product Writing Service for engaging, professionally written product descriptions that will entice customers to buy your products.

Trending This Week

  • April 19 – #NBAPlayoffs
  • April 20 – #WednesdayWisdom
  • April 21 – #ThursdayTreat
  • April 22 – #Coachella, #EarthDay
  • April 23 – #TalkLikeShakespeare
  • April 24 – #PetParentsDay
  • April 25 – #Mondayblogs

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of April 12th – Shop Sections Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

My marketing tips for this week are focusing on the individual sections of your online shop as they are very important for SEO. However, sometimes it helps to experiment with one or two in terms of customer buying behaviors, to see if it can convert more traffic into sales. Here are some ideas.

online marketing tips


Shop Sections That Create Interest

People like to buy items based on what they think other people are buying, so try this little trick. Add a shop category that is entitled, “Back by Demand” and see how it does for you. Put popular items in here that do sell well for you, but now the perception is that they were so popular they sold out. This alone might make people more inclined to buy and buy right away.

Shop Sections Based on Price

Instead of a “Sale” shop category, why not really pull customers in by clearly specifying what the low price is. Therefore, categories such as, “Jewelry Under $25“, “100 Under $20“, and so forth. Another option is to use the word “Outlet” instead of “Sale” as this really gives the perception of a deep discount.

Shop Sections That Sell More Products at Once

Bauble Bar has a shop category called “Build a Layered Necklace“. This is really quite ingenious as it helps to up-sell more of their products at one time. First, they have you choose from a short necklace, then you choose a medium necklace and finally a long necklace – creating a very easy way to ensure that you get this popular look without fail. Plus, they give you a discount for buying all three. You can do something similar by creating a shop category of items that all work together and offer a discount for buying two or more items from this category.

Screen shot 2016-04-12 at 1.00.01 PM


Shop Sections Based on Events

I have mentioned this many times in my Marketing Ideas E-books that you can take advantage of popular buying seasons with your shop categories. Create temporary categories such as, “The Mother’s Day Shop”, “Festival Bags“, “Spring Refresh”, “Derby Day Style”, “Summer Scents”, etc.

Trending This Week

  • April 12 – #NationalGrilledCheese DayScreen shot 2016-04-12 at 1.27.07 PM
  • April 13 – #NationalScrabbleDay
  • April 14 – #ThursdayThoughts
  • April 15 – #Coachella, #WorldArtDay, #NationalTaxDay
  • April 16 – #satchat
  • April 17 – #SundayBrunch
  • April 18 – #MotivationMonday, #BostonMarathon

Big Events in May: Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Victoria Day (Canada), the Kentucky Derby, the French Open, Star Wars Day, college graduations and high school proms.

My Quick Fix is perfect for those of you on a tight budget. With my Quick Fix ($25), I will examine your online shop and identify 3 things you need to do/change/fix to drive more traffic and get more sales. If you would like a more extensive evaluation with detailed, step by step recommendations, then check out my Online Shop Critique ($129).

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for Week of April 5th – Masters Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Happy National Deep Dish Pizza Day! There really is a national day for everything, isn’t there? Here are some other marketing tips you may find helpful for your online shop.

marketing tips

Product Photos

Screen shot 2016-04-04 at 6.22.06 PMOne tip I always give in my Marketing Ebooks is that when shooting your products be sure to show their purpose. In other words, don’t just show a bowl, show a bowl full of something so that potential customers immediately get a purpose for the bowl. Don’t just show a bracelet, show the bracelet on a model or with other bracelets of yours (to upsell more) or with outfit ideas, and so forth. Customers are more likely to look at photos than read the copy, so use your photos to put these “reasons to buy” in their head.

Drunk Online Shopping

Have you heard about “Sip and Click? A new report from Lyst (an e-commerce site) shows a huge spike in women’s online shopping habits late on Friday evenings resulting in 48 percent more orders Saturday at 2 a.m. when compared to Monday night sales. It seems that after 1 a.m., the dollar value of the order goes up 40 percent compared to that same time on a Monday night. The feeling is this spike is due to women going online after having a few drinks and, as such, have more “relaxed” shopping habits. Now, I am not saying to take advantage of these women, but it is good to know that late into Friday evenings a lot of women (not all drunk) are online shopping so you may want to tailor your social media postings for these times.

Social Media Demographics

Who are you trying to reach on social media? According to a new report from Social Media Today, if you want to reach the 18 to 24 age group, SnapChat should be your number one social site as it completely dominates this segment. 25 to 34-year olds rank Instagram as #1, ages 35 to 44 favor Pinterest, for 45 to 54 it is LinkedIN, and for 55+ it is Facebook.

Sales Conversion Rates

While time spent on mobile continues to exceed time spent on desktop (67% vs 21%) according to the Social Media Today report above, a new report from Monetate shows that sales conversion of people shopping online via desktop is 3 times what it is on mobile. In the last quarter of 2015, online shopping from a desktop had a conversion rate of 4.43% while online shopping from a mobile phone had a sales conversion rate of just 1.53%. So do not eliminate all of your desktop advertising just yet.

Trending This Week

  • April 5 – #NationalDeepDishPizzaDay, #TuesdayTreatScreen shot 2016-04-04 at 7.26.38 PM
  • April 6 – #WednesdayWant
  • April 7 – #MastersWeek
  • April 8 – #NationalBeerDay
  • April 9 – #Caturday, #SaturdaySwag
  • April 10 – #NationalSiblingsDay
  • April 11 – #NationalPetDay

BONUS TIP: Be sure to update your email signature with any monthly promotions or Mother’s Day offers if you haven’t already.

New Service!

My Quick Fix is perfect for those of you on a tight budget. With my Quick Fix ($19), I will examine your online shop and identify 3 things you need to do/change/fix to drive more traffic and get more sales. If you would like a more extensive evaluation with detailed, step by step recommendations, then check out my Online Shop Critique ($129).

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of March 29th – Opening Day Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Can you believe March wraps up this week? But the good news is that there are so many great buying opportunities coming up for your e-commerce store. Here are this week’s tips.


Your Shop’s Blog

If your e-commerce site has a blog, do not simply make the blog a category heading. Instead, bring your blog articles to the forefront with a hyperlinked graphic right on your shop’s home page. Both Nordstrom (their blog is called The Thread, below) and West Elm promote their blog posts on their home page to increase traffic and keep customers on the site longer.

nordstrom blog

Social Media Followers

When was the last time you went through your social media followers lists and followed back? There could be some potential customers in there so do not ignore them. If you follow back, it allows you to interact with them by liking and commenting on their posts when they come up in your feed.

Shop Banners

Spring is definitely here so it is time to change your shop, Facebook and Twitter banners to promote popular upcoming sales opportunities such as Mother’s day, prom, grad gifts, gardening, outdoor and Spring products, as Uncommon Goods has done below.

uncommon goods banner

Instagram Tip

Not sure how to maximize the trending hashtags I give below to drive traffic to your shop? #Breakfast is a very popular hashtag on Instagram, and the shop Indigo uses it to showcase their housewares collection.

Screen shot 2016-03-29 at 12.01.53 PM

Trending This Week

  • March 29 – #NationalMomandPopBusinessOwnersDay, #NationalLemonChiffonCakeDay
  • March 30 – #WednesdayInspiration
  • March 31 – #NationalPromDay
  • April 1 – #AprilFoolsDay
  • April 2 – #FinalFour, #NationalPeanutButterandJellyDay
  • April 3 – #NationalFindaRainbowDay, #OpeningDay (baseball)
  • April 4  – #MondayMadness

My Services

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of March 22nd – Etsy Shop Tips

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I have been working with Etsy sellers for a few years now, from some of the top sellers to shops just starting out. I even have my own shop there. So if you are one of the 1.6 million people now selling on this popular marketplace, here are a few Etsy shop tips that might help you out.

etsy shop tips

Etsy Shop Tip #1

Etsy has just changed their shop format, now allowing 15 shop sections instead of 10. This is a good update because the more shop sections you can have, the more specific you can get with their titles and hopefully get more targeted search results. Google reads your individual shop section pages the same way it reads a home page with the shop section title taking the same relevance as a title tag on a home page. For example, if you have a shop section entitled, “Gold Initial Necklaces” and then you have 30 listings in that section that have the words “gold initial necklace” in the title (or synonyms such as “letter” “monogram” etc.), then your shop section page now has a very good chance of coming up first in Google results when someone searches on the phrase “gold initial necklaces” because it is repeated on one page so many times.

Etsy Shop Tip #2

If you go to the bottom of the Etsy home page, under “Discover and Shop”, you will see a heading entitled, “Tastemakers“. These are the Etsy pages for various publications, blogs and the like. I recommend following all the Etsy pages shown here because they may possibly take notice of your shop (they get a notification that you are following them) with the hope that they may add one of your products to their curated lists. You also want to be known by the people managing these Etsy pages because from time to time, certain “tastemakers” are asked to write a post for the Etsy blog highlighting their favorites and these “tastemakers” tend to also share these posts with their blog readers.

Etsy Shop Tip #3

Are you following Etsy on all of their social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest? Make a habit of regularly commenting on their posts (always something nice). It is a good way to get your shop name in front of their social media managers who pick the Etsy products that they profile daily on these pages.

Trending This Week

Below is what will be popular on social media this week as well as some other popular hash tags you may want to try:

  • March 22 – #TuesdayTrivia, #TravelTuesday
  • March 23 – #NationalPuppyDay, #WomanCrushWednesday
  • March 24 – #Sweet16, #ThursdayThoughts
  • March 25 – Good Friday, #BatmanvSuperman, #Sweet16
  • March 26 – #EliteEight, #SaturdaySwag
  • March 27 – Easter Sunday, #EasterEgg, #EliteEight
  • March 28 – #NationalBlackForestCake Day, #DWTS, #MotivationMonday

Want more Etsy tips and advice? Get my Etsy Shop Critique!






© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

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