3 Online Retailers with Amazing Blogs

by Gail Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

Everyone keeps telling you how you need a blog as a secondary alternative to drive traffic to your online store. It can be very effective as you target your prospective market with articles they care about, and it inadvertently brings them over to your online store. But a blog is a lot of work, so don’t venture into it lightly. Some big retailers do it really well, with ideas that may inspire you.

3 Online Retailers with Amazing Blogs

1. West Elm

West Elm Blog

Home retailer West Elm has a blog called Front + Main. They cover categories their customers care about such as Food + Entertaining, Before and After Room Makeovers, Bedrooms, Living Rooms, Bathrooms, Kitchen + Dining, Handcrafted, Inspiration and DIY. But also intermixed throughout this highly visual blog are links to recent posts on some of the top home decor blogs, so they curate content as well. They will also answer design dilemmas sent in by customers, giving a personal touch to their business. All content is very attractive for social media-sharing purposes and they actively encourage the use of their #mywestelm hash tag. Front + Main looks like a glossy online magazine that successfully promotes West Elm’s products but not in a in-your-face-kind of way.

2. Free People

Free People Blog

Boho clothing retailer, Free People, has a blog but is not strictly about fashion. They have also given it its own name – The BLDG 25 – and it covers all the topics its 18 to 35 year-old female demographic likes, such as music, beauty, food, decor, DIY, and inspiration. Every Monday they offer their motivational quote (which always do so well on social media), and the blog tends to focus on the bohemian approach to life – yoga moves, granola recipes, vegan smoothies, monthly horoscopes. They only have posts about their clothing every 5 or 6 post, so again, it is a subtle way to sell to readers.

3. BHDLN

bhdln blog

For wedding retailer BHDLN, a blog almost seems a given. But how to complete with the hundreds of wedding blogs already out there? Well they offer the best of both worlds. Like West Elm, throughout their original content are posts from some of the top wedding blogs. They do promote their products, as Free People does in every 5th or so post, with the other content being articles such as wedding day make-up tips, wedding shoe guide, hot trends, as well as studio visits and interviews with some of their designers. Like the others they give their blog its own name, calling it B-Inspired, and sometimes, instead of posts, they actually post a graphic representing one of their Pinterest boards, and selecting it takes you directly to it. A great way to get more followers.

Your Marketing Take Away

  • Post content your target market cares about
  • Give your blog a name so it has its own identity
  • Encourage using a company hashtag when sharing the post on social media
  • Link right to Pinterest boards as content
  • Curate content from other top blogs
  • Only promote your products every 5th or so post
  • Use it to connect to potential customers by answering their questions

GB OliverNeed a Creative Marketing Strategy for Your Online Business? 

Check out my Marketing Services page to find a service that is right for your business, or ask for something specific at attentiongetting@gmail.com.

© 2012-2014 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved. 

 

3 Online Stores Whose Products I Love

by Gail Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

I recently came across a few independent online shops and was really impressed by not only their e-commerce store but the creativity of their products.

Online Store: Bob’s Your Uncle 

The online store, Bob’s Your Uncle, actually features three other vendors as well, but I love Bob’s whimsical take on everyday items from dish towels to place mats to playing cards and the pure simplicity of the shop.

Insider Tip: One other thing Bob is doing that is very smart, is not only offering custom services, but also willing to design products for a company as a private label.

cool online shops

Online Store: Growler Goods 

Growler Goods focuses on dog products with a little boho flare. From dog tipis (seriously, doesn’t that tipi look comfortable?) to leashes to bandanas, these are products for the cool dog.

Insider Tip: I love how Growler Goods has an oversized, recognizable label all of their products, and displaying the “Martha Stewart American Made” seal of approval on their home page doesn’t hurt either.

cool online stores

Online Store: Yellow Leaf Hammocks

Sometimes specializing in just one type of product is ideal because you get found more easily in searches and you can quickly become the go-to standard. Yellow Leaf Hammocks look pretty amazing, come in a variety of styles, styles, and yes, you can customize your own as well.

Insider Tip: The product photography is so well done (I never thought to hang a hammock on a sailboat or dock), and they actively promote all of the press they have gotten from major publications as well as their philanthropy efforts, as the hammocks are made by artisans in rural Thailand.

unique online stores

If you really want to understand how to offer great products, appeal to your target market and establish a recognizable brand, check out these three shops.


quick consult 3

You too can have a successful online business and I can help. I offer a variety of very affordable marketing services including my very popular but limited time offer, My Quick Consult ($30) for those on a budget or just starting out. Find out more on my marketing services page.


© 2012-2014 G.B. OLIVER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Trying to Launch a Beauty Products Line? Check out Gloss48

Written by Gail Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

I came across an interesting e-commerce marketplace called Gloss48. The reason I found them was because I was on another site that had a product with the label “Discovered through Gloss48” (seen below). Good marketing!

Screen shot 2014-05-01 at 1.46.31 PM

Here is how Gloss48 works. They search out and find the best new independent beauty brands, feature them at a special launch price for one week, and then bring them into their shop.

This is a curated shopping experience where customers are getting an expert opinion so they don’t waste their money on products that may not live up to their claims.

For independent beauty brands, this makes the selling process much faster and easier because Gloss48 is essentially endorsing your product as well as selling it for you. 

how to sell beauty products

Gloss48 has covered all their bases. In addition to the shop, they also have a very informative blog that reads like a beauty magazine, as well as a variety of video tutorials. Gloss48 has managed to create a specialized niche marketplace that links together the three popular forces in the online world – ecommerce, blogging and social media.

I think this is where the e-commerce market is heading. Curated marketplaces that help you make informed buying decisions, and at the same time give an audience to new, undiscovered, and possibly more affordable brands.


On a Budget?

Due to requests, I’m offering a new, very affordable service called the “Quick Consult I take a look at your online business and email you my professional opinion as to why you are not getting traffic and/or sales and several quick fixes you can do that will instantly make a difference. You can find out more on my marketing services page. 


© 2012-2014 G.B. OLIVER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

AHAlife is a Curated Marketplace Where the Sellers Get the Spotlight

by G.B. Oliver

AHAlife is a curated marketplace with products for men, women, home, beauty, dining and tech from independent brands and may be an option for your products.

 

Focuses on the Brand

There are some great products featured in this marketplace, but what I really loved about AHAlife’s approach is their focus on the brands and the companies behind them.

ahalife online marketplaceEvery product listing includes a short writeup about the company at the bottom (you can click on a link to get more information) as well as shows other products in their line. On the home page, you can see the top 5 selling products, as well as the top 5 selling brands. They really make an effort to help the sellers carve out an identity in their marketplace.

Case in point, you can visually search through the various brands’ shop images, to quickly discover a company that you may not have found if searching by product.

ahalife marketplace online

So AHAlife isn’t about just setting up a shop and selling stuff. It’s about allowing indie sellers to establish a brand, a product line, a company and an identity, and that is what you should aspire for if you are serious about the products you create and want a customer base that will be loyal to your brand and recommend you to others.

Indie sellers can apply to have their products sold in the AHAlife marketplace, or recommend products, here.

Screen shot 2014-02-05 at 2.48.06 PMAbout the Author: I’m G.B. Oliver, a small business marketing consultant. I can create a complete & detailed Marketing Action Plan for your small business. Inquire using the form below.

© 2014 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved

3 Social Shopping Sites Your Online Shop Should Be On

by G.B. Oliver

Social shopping sites are basically a curation of products that the members of the site promote (for free) and if you see something you like, clicking on the product takes you directly to the retailer. They are not independent selling marketplaces like Etsy, where you purchase the product directly on the sitebut rather FREE promotional sites, more in the vein of Pinterest.

Here are three social shopping sites you should consider if you are an independent shop selling online:

Wanelo Shop

Wanelo-social-shopping-site

Wanelo shows products in the categories of Women, Men and Home from various online stores. Any store can join and post its own products, but you need people to “save” your products in order to rank high in trending and appear on the first page. A nice feature is when your product does show up and visitors click on it, it will also show other products from your store that have made it onto Wanelo. If products from your shop have already been posted, you can simply join Wanelo and claim your page so you can start customizing it. The best way to help yourself on Wanelo is to add the Wanelo “Save” button to your products’ pages and/or promote the Wanelo url that links to your shop.

Svpply Shop

Svpply-online-social-shopping

Svpply was acquired by eBay last year. Its interface is simple, showing trending products from 123,000+ stores all across the web, in categories such as Men’s, Women’s, Tech, Media, Art, Home and Other, and updated every 10 minutes based on users wants and likes. The key is to get your customers to add your products and when they do, a store is automatically set up for you. Like Wanelo, they also have an “Add” button that you can put on your product pages to encourage visitors to raise your ranking on Svpply.

Ownza Shop

Ownza-social-shopping

Ownza is as simple as the name states – make a list of the things you own and the things you want. It encourages users to do so by offering a cash back percentage (from the store) for posting the new things you buy. Now keep in mind, because you are sharing the space with large retailers, smaller shops are not obligated to offer a cash back. Like the other sites above, you can add the Ownza button to your product pages, but they also offer sellers another interesting feature, by allowing you to add the sharing module directly to your order confirmation page and encourage shoppers to share the purchase on both Facebook and Ownza.

FINAL WORD: You can never have enough free promotion, so take advantage of the exposure these social shopping sites offer your small business.

Need Marketing Help You Can Afford?

GB OliverI have helped hundreds of small businesses market themselves for success. Just fill in the form below for more information, or email me at attentiongetting@gmail.com to discuss or see my Marketing Services page. Or check out my Ebook Shop for great Small Business Marketing Ideas.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

3 Types of Free Downloads That Will Promote Your Business

by G.B. Oliver

If you are looking for an effective, no-cost way to promote your business, consider putting together a free download that is relevant to what you sell, include your logo and url, and hope it gets widely circulated across social media.

I have just created this free download PDF to help promote my own business. It is a one-page reference guide that my customers (and potential customers) will find valuable. It’s entitled, Where to Sell Online. In this PDF, I have listed and hyperlinked the most popular Online Selling Sites, Social Shopping Sites, E-commerce Sites, and Content Sharing Sites. I also display my logo, my url and my business fairly prominently.

Marketing PDF

GET MY FREE PDF  ➸ Where to Sell Online by Attention-Getting.com

Another benefit of this PDF, is that I am giving my readers something to share on social media, and by sharing it, it may draw attention to your own business (so please feel free to email this PDF to anyone you know who has an online business, as well as Pin it, Tweet it, post it to Facebook, Stumble it, and so forth).

So, need some ideas for a download for your business?

3 Types of Free Downloads That Will Promote Your Business

  • Checklists – People love checklists and to-do lists. These free downloadable checklists from Match Magazine are simple but effective. For example,they have one called, 50 Classic Matchbook Girl Novels. How perfect is that for someone selling iPad covers, book lights, anything to do with reading. Or the one, 50 Classics for Your Closet. Again, perfect for someone selling fashion, jewelry or even beauty products. Just make sure your logo and url are prominent on the page.
  • Reference Guide – Another thing people love is to keep and bookmark are handy reference guides. Make it something relevant to what you sell. For example, if you sell vintage goods, make a reference list for people to take when shopping at flea markets, such as, “How to Tell if it’s Real Gold“, How to Tell if it’s Real Wood“, “How to Tell if it’s Real China“, that kind of thing.
  • Printables – A while ago I did a blog post on an office supplies store called, Poppin. One of the things they offer for free on their website are
    Free Download from Poppin.com
    Free Download from Poppin.com

    printable certificates for employees, such as, “Most Likely to Stay Late” and “Most Organized Desk“. Employees display the certificate on their wall and the Poppin logo is featured prominently for everyone to see. For example, if you sell art, offer a free printable desk calendar and on it mark all the major art exhibits around the world in 2014.

FINAL WORD: Just tweeting out your products or posting them to Facebook is not going to get you noticed, because that is what everyone is doing and you will just get lost in the crowd. Offer potential customers interesting information that they can use, and they are more likely to notice you.

PLEASE TWEET, FACEBOOK, STUMBLE, PIN, ETC. THIS BLOG POST & MY FREE DOWNLOAD USING THE SHARE BUTTON BELOW (let me know when you do one for your business and I will do that same for you!)

 GET 50% OFF ANY OF MY EBOOKS!– As a reader of my blog I would like to say thank you and offer you 50% OFF any ebook in my Ebook shop.  Just use the coupon code 50DISCOUNT on checkout. But hurry, this offer is only good until July 3, 2013.

I also offer extremely affordable private consulting services specifically for small and new businesses. Email me at attentiongetting@gmail.com to inquire or see my Services page.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Why Your Online Shop May Want to Consider Doing a Fab.com Flash Sale

by G.B. Oliver

Every day I get emails from Fab.com featuring various vendors and products for sale in a certain category, and the sale is on for the next 7 days.

Daily flash sales at Fab.com
Daily flash sales at Fab.com

I was curious to know the success rate of these types of sales, because email marketing has been proven to be a very effective technique. On Monday on Fab.com, it was “Vintage Monday“, so 10 vintage shops were featured. Since these were vintage products, I figured there was only one of each item, so once the item had a sold sign on it, I could count that as one sale. Which means it would be very easy to measure. So, 24 hours after the sale was emailed out to potential customers, I checked how many items were sold to determine the success, and here is what I found.

The first vendor I looked at listed 108 items, all a mix of different types of vintage finds from cameras to home accents to tableware. After 24 hours, 57 of the 108 items had sold, or 52%.

The second vendor I looked at sold vintage clothing for women, various tops and dresses. They listed 72 items and after 24 hours had sold 14, or almost 20% (keep in mind, vintage clothing is a tougher sell because the item is only available in one particular size, limiting the market for it). 

The third vendor I looked at sold vintage telephones. They had listed 114 phones and after 24 hours they sold 35 or 30%.

These are pretty good numbers, plus they are not the final numbers. Obviously, the majority of items will sell in the first 24 hours, but some people may not look at these emails until the weekend, so the numbers will probably end up being slightly higher. Plus, these are one-of-a-kind vintage items, so there is more of a sense of urgency to buy, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.

So Fab.com is incorporating a few tried and true marketing techniques here:

  1. Email marketing has proven to be highly effective because today’s population is incredibly busy, so we are more likely to buy something that is put right in front of our faces then something we have to go searching for.
  2. Discounts always work. People never want to pay full price for anything. There is a certain satisfaction in feeling you got a deal. Even 10% is enough to make some people act.
  3. Offers are time-limited. If you want people to act quickly, give them a deadline. It doesn’t hurt to label the products “Sold Out” or “Only 3 Left” and to have a countdown in the corner ticking away.
  4. The sales are targeted. Sure the emails go out to their entire mailing list, but by categorizing the sale days, such as Foodie Sunday and Pet Thursday, I might be more likely to check out the days that interest me, rather than just starting to ignore all the emails because every day is just a mix of products that I may have no need for.

Now, I am going to give Fab a free marketing tip, so I hope they’re listening. If they really want their daily flash sales to have further reach, they need to take advantage of social media. They should enlist their large army of sellers to use the #hash tags: #FabVintageMondays #FabNewArrivalsTuesdays #FabFoodieSunday (on the appropriate day) and so forth to really get their sales trending and bring over new customers.

FINAL WORD: So is a Fab sale right for your business? In today’s crowded online marketplace, the more opportunities you have to get your products in front of buyers, the better. It allows you to build up a customer base and establish repeat buyers. So, go for it. You can apply to have your products featured on Fab.com here.

Marketing_Ideas_VintageNEW! Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! for Vintage Goods ($11.95) is now available in my ebook shop. All my very best marketing tactics to take your vintage shop to the next level.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.