Product Photography I Love – March 2013

by G.B. Oliver

I love great photography. It really does help sell a product. Here are some favorites I found, and I will explain (in case it’s not obvious) what works that makes this a photo that sells.

Beauty Products

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Why It Works: I love this product shot by Crabtree & Evelyn for many reasons. One, I think by including the oranges in the shot, it really does convey that you will find them in the product. Two, I love how they positioned the bottles on this white washed table, making it feel like a very natural, fresh product. Finally, grouping all four products together really does help upsell, making you want the whole set.

 

Vintage Products

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Why It Works: The vintage shop, Dreamy  Whites, does an amazing job of shooting their vintage finds with magazine quality photos. The soft lighting makes the vintage product feel like it will fit into any type of home today. Showing the product in use is always a good idea. If you just saw a photo of this basket on its own, empty, would you be as inclined to want it?

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Pet Products

kurgo-pet-skybox-booster-seat-d-20090924170450133~526856

Why It Works: This is a great product shot from a company called Kurgo selling on HSN. You can never go wrong showing a cute dog, and this one is a great model. Again, showing the product in action helps me visualize it in my own car and with my own sized dog. And they make it look just too adorable to pass up.

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Paper Products

laser-cut-pebble-wedding-invitations2

Why It Works: Invitation company, Luscious Verde, shows various aspects of the design in one photo, really highlighting nice details you might have otherwise missed. Doing a collage is a great way to ensure the customer see all the features and benefits.

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FINAL WORD: Photos really can sell a product if you use them to highlight use, need unique features. Plus, with today’s image-hungry online environment, top quality photos are more likely to be “pinned” and “liked” helping your products to go viral.

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

Google Search Phrases On The Rise

by G.B. Oliver

★ THIS BLOG POST  MADE NY TIMES SMALL BUSINESS, BEST OF THE WEEK 

I love looking at Google Trends and seeing which search phrases are popular, but also which ones are on the rise. The great thing about Google Trends is you can customize it by country and by time period (i.e. last 7 days), so it is a great tool to keep on top of the marketplace. So I entered some product categories to see what the top rising search phrases were, for the last 3 months, worldwide.

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For the jewelry vendors out there, and I know there are lots, these are the top rising search phrases:

  • Cheap Body Jewelry
  • Hematite Jewelry
  • Amethyst Jewelry (amethyst is the February birthstone)
  • Bridesmaid Jewelry

For wedding products vendors, typing in wedding was too generic, so here are the top rising search phrases, worldwide, in the last 3 months for “Wedding Invitations”:

  • Fun Wedding Invitations
  • Coral Wedding Invitations
  • Country Wedding Invitations
  • Homemade Wedding Invitations

For vendors of baby products, again, typing in baby was too generic. So I tried “Baby Clothes”, and these were the top risers:

  • Baby Summer Clothes
  • Neutral Baby Clothes
  • Crochet Baby Clothes
  • Handmade Baby Clothes
  • Unisex Baby Clothes

For vendors of art, I typed in the phrase “Wall Art” and this is what resulted:

  • Kitchen Art
  • African Wall Art
  • Bathroom Wall Art
  • Beach Wall Art
  • Kitchen Wall Art (Kitchen seems to be in big demand)

For vintage sellers, these were the breakout rising searches for “Vintage”:

  • Vintage Valentines
  • Modern Vintage Boutique
  • Vintage Swimwear
  • Vintage Prom Dresses
  • Vintage Bridesmaid Dresses
  • Vintage Style Dresses

For sellers of home products, it is a little tougher to narrow things down. So I entered “Decorative” and these were the results:

  • Decorative curtain rods
  • Decorative baskets
  • Decorative bird cages
  • Decorative wall hooks
  • Decorative ceiling tiles

FINAL WORD: When you look at searches in lesser time frames, like the last 3 months, it helps you to see popular cyclical searches, such as Valentine’s, and also how far in advance people start searching for different events or seasons. For example, people are already searching for summer items. Use Google Trends to help you find where that next opportunity lies for your online business.

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

Online Stores I Love – Harabu House

by G.B. Oliver

One of the things I try to do with my blog is frequently point out Marketing I Love and Products I Love, but today I am actually going to talk about an Online Store I Love. The store is called Harabu House and if you are looking for ideas to what makes an online store work, you definitely should check them out.

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.41.45 AMHarabu House was launched in 2010 and is an exclusive online eco-boutique for contemporary and stylish global finds. Their mission is to find sustainable products that provide economic, social and environmental benefits to the artisans who create them, and they carry products from all over the globe.

What Harabu House is Doing Right:

  • Great Products – They carry truly unique, beautiful products for the home (as well as some jewelry and fashion accessories). From hand painted tea cups to teak measuring spoons, everything seems to have a mix of the exotic and the contemporary at the same time. Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.44.17 AM
  • Easy to Navigate – I personally do not like busy home/landing pages and Harabu’s is sleek and simple. They have a slide show running of various products with a caption such as “Find Me Under Dinnerware“, making it easy for the visitor to find the products on display. All the categories are neatly displayed at the top and the particulars such as contact info, FAQs, newsletter, and social media icons are tightly compacted in a barred off section at the bottom. I also love how that important upper right hand corner notifies customers of their free shipping offer on domestic orders over $75 with a hot pink elephant icon drawing the eye right to it.

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  • Gift Guide – Another icon on the home page is their gift guide. But once you click on it, you are actually then given more options to narrow it down further, such as a gift guide for housewarming, baby shower, for him, for her. Another attempt to make the shopping experience easier for the customer.
  • Product Descriptions – The product descriptions are so well written, with compact narratives that tell you everything you need to know and create a need to buy. They are typically followed by a small write-up about the artist. I love the Tell a Friend feature, allowing you to instantly email the product to a friend, the Add to Wish List icon, and the Request More Information icon – three great Call to Actions to keep buyers engaged.
  • Category Highlight – A nice touch this online store has, is that when you are in a particular product category, the icon behind it colorizes, reminding you where you are. Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.47.55 AM
  • Photographs – The photographs are definitely top notch. Well-lit, various angles, magazine-quality set-ups, typically showing the product in use. I also like that for certain products, they include a photo of any magazine editorial that product has appeared in, which helps credibility with customers because it acts as an endorsement.
  • Shopping Cart Total – A cool feature about their shopping cart icon in the upper right hand corner, is that it will not only display the number of items (which is pretty common with most online sellers) but it actually displays how much you have spent so far. Love that!

FINAL WORD: So, if you want a good example of what a sleek, attractive online home products shop should look like, check out Harabu House.

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

Be Careful About Sharing Your “Success” Tips … Your Competition is Listening

by G.B. Oliver

I was on one a popular online store’s forums the other day where sellers talk to each other and share information. Here, I frequently see sellers who make grand declarations such as they’ve made 500 sales in a month and here is how they did it. And I scratch my head and think to myself, BIG MISTAKE!

I realize that a lot of these online marketplaces like to foster a sense of community, but, at the end of the day this is still business and many of these sellers are your direct competition. Why on earth would you want to tell them your success secrets?

That is the problem when your ego takes over from your business sense. You have a bit of success and you want to tell everyone. But now realize, you are telling everyone, including your competition, and that’s not good.

It is NEVER a good idea to share your secrets with competitors. I dare anyone to find me a business book that says to do that. Would Coca-Cola email Pepsi and say, “Here is everything we did last year that worked. Good luck”. You would be sabotaging your own business. You don’t have any control over who reads your posts or your blog or tweets, so why put information out there that can hurt you? You want customers to notice you, but quite frankly, when it comes to your competition, you want to fly under their radar.

I have marketing professionals follow me all the time on Twitter. They don’t need my services, obviously. They are keeping tabs on me, which is what the competition does. If I do something they think works, let’s be honest, they will probably “borrow” it.

This is just good seasoned business advice. Remember the saying, Loose Lips Sink Ships. If you have an amazing secret that you stumbled upon that is causing your sales to skyrocket – KEEP IT TO YOURSELF (but tell me, of course).

Now, luckily for you I share my marketing secrets that will help your online business, in my ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, plus find other helpful marketing tools in my Etsy shop.

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

Are Your Keywords Covering All Aspects of the English Language?

by G.B. Oliver

When you are adding tags and keywords to your website, shop, product listings, and so forth, are you considering all variations of the English language?

As you are aware, the English language has slight differences whether you live in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia and other English speaking countries. You could be missing out on these areas being potential customers (if you do ship product to these countries) simply because you did include their more commonly used phrases and spellings.

In the UK these are baby rompers or bodysuits, not baby onesies.
In the UK these are baby rompers or bodysuits, not baby onesies.

For example, if you are selling baby onesies, no one in the UK or Australia will be searching for that phrase. Instead they will be searching bodysuit, playsuit, sleepsuit or romper. So, if you want to sell to this international market as well, it couldn’t hurt to add these keywords to your tags.

If you sell pants, no one in the UK and Australia that will looking searching on that word either, (unless they are looking for underwear) but rather, they would be searching the word, trousers.

Words that are different in the U.S. and UK:

  • Overalls are dungarees
  • Toiletry bag is wash bag
  • Swimwear is beachwear
  • Sweater is jumper
  • Backpack is day pack
  • Pillows are cushions
  • Message boards are notice boards
  • Cupcake liners are cupcake cases
  • Cookies are biscuits
  • Underwear is knickers (women’s)
  • Ring bearer is pageboy
  • Stroller is pram or pushchair
  • Crib mobile is cot mobile
  • Diapers are nappies
  • Birdhouse is bird box
  • Sleepwear is nightwear
  • Subway is metro

Not to mention slight spelling differences:

  • Personalized is personalised
  • Jewelry is jewellery
  • Wedding favors are wedding favours
  • Organizer is organiser
  • Color is colour
  • Center is centre
  • Pajamas is pyjamas
  • Gray is grey
  • Mustache is moustache

So simply by adding a few extra keywords that cater to other English markets, this will help expose your products to even more customers.

Want more advice on keywords that will attract your target market? You’ll find that, and hundreds of other innovative ideas, in my marketing guides, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! as well as other helpful marketing tools in my Etsy shop.

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

More Quirky Products That Will Sell

by G.B. Oliver

I love quirky products. To me they show innovation and creativity and are so inspiring in terms of product ideas. Plus, as I’ve said many times, quirky products always sell and always get publicity!

So, I went over to my favorite online shopping site, Outblush – who loves quirky products – and found some of their finds that I think show really creative design.

Kate Spade “Say the Word” Word Search Dish

Word Search Crystal Dish by Kate Spade New York
Word Search Crystal Dish by Kate Spade New York

I love this crystal dish by Kate Spade. There are also matching mugs with crossword patterns as well. It is fun, colorful and conversational, which is perfect when you are using a dish like this to serve to guests.

BFF Pendant Set

Zelda and Becky Play Telephone from Flapper Doodle on Storenvy
Zelda and Becky Play Telephone from Flapper Doodle on Storenvy

Just when you thought there were no more ways to do a BFF necklace (Best Friends Forever), Flapper Doodle on Storenvy comes out with this adorable pendant set. What I love about this is the originality. No heart divided in two that has to fit together or one pendant says “Best” and the other says “Friend”. Instead they really did something fresh and eye catching.

Skeleton Shirt

Skeleton Shirt by Romwe
Skeleton Shirt by Romwe

What I like about this Skeleton shirt from Romwe, is that it is definitely not something you would normally see on a traditional white shirt. Now, it is made to be street fashion, but you could probably get away with wearing it to work on Halloween.

Office Chair Cell Phone Holders

Office Chair Cell Phone Holders from the Lakeside Collection
Office Chair Cell Phone Holders from the Lakeside Collection

Cell phones have created quite the cottage industry, and unusual holders have been one of the most popular products to result. This set of 3 office chair holders from the Lakeside Collection is pretty whimsical if your daughter doesn’t steal them for her Barbies.

Grey Cat iPhone Case

Grey Wool iPhone Case from TokyoInspired on Etsy
Grey Wool iPhone Case from TokyoInspired on Etsy

There are so many creative iPhone cases out there, but you have to love this one from TokyoInspired on Etsy, especially for the cat lady in your life. Really creative design by incorporating the zipper as the mouth and using wool fabric. Love it!

My marketing guides will tell you everything you need to do to successfully sell online, including how to create products the market wants. The early reviews have been great! Click here for more information.

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Click the image to order
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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Get Blogs to Feature Your Products

by G.B. Oliver

Blogs have taken over online content in a big way. According to Blogging.org, WordPress alone hosts 42 million blogs with 329 million readers. That is an unbelievable statistic! NY TIMES SMALL BUSINESS

So, if you sell fashion, you would love to have a top fashion blog mention your products. If you sell wedding items, you would love to have a top wedding blog mention your products. So how do you do this?

Bloggers are constantly looking for new and exciting story ideas.  Therefore, the key is to pitch a story, not a product. 

How to submit to blogs

 

 

How to Submit to Blogs

Before you pitch your products to any blog, you need to check out their content first, mostly to make sure that you are not submitting a story idea that they have already recently done.

So, think of something timely (bloggers are looking up to six weeks in advance) like an upcoming holiday. An example story pitch would then be “10 Great Finds for Your Easter Dinner Table”. 

Then read their submission guidelines. Typically, a blog’s editors will detail what they are looking for, and what they are NOT looking for. It is best to read this part and do what they say for the best chance of success.

Also, if they are asking for submissions by email they will tell you what to put in the subject header of the email. If you don’t follow their instructions, your email won’t get read.

Keep the pitch short and to the point. Link to your product. Insert, do not attach, a photo (it will go into spam otherwise).

Customer Success Stories

I have a client who took my advice and got her products mentioned on a top fashion blog. As a result, she got hundreds of product views and several sales just in the first few hours that it appeared (this is a good conversion rate, remember not everyone buys right away).

I have another client whose product appeared on a shopping blog, resulting in 330 product views, but more importantly 49 sales, in just a few days. In other words, a 15% conversion rate (which is very good), mostly because it got directly to her target market, and not just to the masses. As an added bonus, her product got pinned to Pinterest from the shopping blog over 200 times. And almost a year later, she is still getting traffic and sales from that blog post.

Want one more reason why it is a good idea to make blogs aware of your shop? Because it has become a big trend for online marketplaces to have popular bloggers pick their favorite products and act as guest pinners on Pinterest. Etsy recently did this with the blogs Camille Styles and Daily Candy. Fab.com has profiled favorite product picks from bloggers, as has One Kings Lane.

My Publicity Pitch Service

I offer a service for just $99 USD where I will write 10 different story pitches for 10 top media (magazines, blogs, etc.) for you to pitch to. Just email me at attentiongetting@gmail.com to discuss.

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