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.

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 the Week of March 8th – March Madness Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Don’t forget to set your clocks forward this weekend. You know, if I sold clocks I would actually use a photo of one of them to remind people on social media. Here is what else your e-commerce business needs to know this week.


Best Online Product Experience

Recently, the 18th Annual Mystery Shopping Study released its list of the top online stores for product experience. Some of the stores that scored the best included Cole Haan, ABT, B&H Photo Video, and Golfsmith. I checked out these sites and couldn’t help but notice that it probably had a lot to do with their product photos. Each site shows anywhere from 4 to 8 up-close, detailed photos of the items at every possible angle. It almost gives the experience of actually physically seeing the item. Therefore, don’t scrimp on details when shooting your items. Show the top, sides, bottom and insides so customers get a true buying experience.

Submit Your Business

Every week, Business News Daily has a feature called, Small Business Snapshot. To submit your business, simply email a photo that really showcases what you do to Brittney at If they choose your photo, they will reach out to learn more about your business for the weekly profile.

Facebook Ads

Did you know that when you run ads on Facebook, you can have the ad appear in people’s desktop news feed and/or their mobile news feed. Just to give you feedback on my own experience with Facebook ads, I got 4 times the traffic from Facebook mobile than I did from Facebook desktop, so you may want to forgo desktop (depending on who your target market is, baby boomers still prefer desktop) and focus all of your ad dollars on mobile. Google also offers the same option.

Trending This Week

Below is what will be hot on social media this week:

  • March 9 – Solar Eclipse #TravelTuesday
  • March 10 – #WednesdayWanderlust
  • March 11 – #ThursdayThoughts
  • March 12 –#FridayFeeling
  • March 13 – #MarchMadness #NationalJewelDay
  • March 14 – #NationalPiDay #NationalPotatoChipDay #DaylightSavings
  • March 15 – #MotivationMonday

More Links to Click

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Ask Gail: Will My Online Store Be More Successful If I Sell Just One Type of Product?



Hi Gail

“Your online shop should sing the same tune.” This is advice that I’ve seen posted by others.  When I asked my recently graduated business student son what I could do to get sales, he said basically the same thing.  “You have too many ideas going on.  Choose banners OR stationery and stick with that.” The thing is, I think the fact that I’m using paper as my medium, and die cutting the majority of my products IS cohesive. Plus, I get bored doing just one or the other.  What’s your take on this, Gail?

Deb Michalik

SisBoomBaa Papers on Etsy

Hi Deb,

I understand what your son is saying and why others post that advice. It has to do with search engine optimization (SEO). When you focus on selling one type of product or having a niche online, it really helps your SEO because all the keywords on your site are similar. Therefore, the feeling is that you are not confusing the search engine as to the type of products you sell.

But the truth is Google doesn’t just read your shop as a whole. It reads each individual shop section on its own as well, and that entire section can show up in Google search results as if it were its own website. By making your shop section titles three-keyword phrases. and then having each listing in that section start with that same phrase, you can easily offer a range of products (as long as they are all in the paper realm, as you mentioned, as Google also recognizes like-minded products) and it won’t affect your shop’s overall SEO. If you are still not sure how to do this, try my Etsy Shop Critique where I tell you exactly what your shop section titles should be to maximize your SEO.

Good luck! Gail

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