My Marketing Tips for Online Shops for the Week of January 26th – Pinterest Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Good Tuesday everyone (“Good Tuesday” is a phrase that trends big on Twitter on Tuesdays). Here is a quick run down of what you need to think about this week to market and promote your online shop.


Pinterest Trends

Did you know that Pinterest has a board that highlights the top trending searches so far for 2016? Follow it here at PinPicks: Ideas to Try in 2016. It is a great way to get inspiration for new products. Look for a surge in Pinterest searches over the next two weeks for Superbowl Food, Superbowl Snacks, Superbowl Party, Superbowl Desserts and Snack Stadium (look it up) so try and take advantage to draw interest to your shop. 

Product Photography Made Easy

I mentioned Creative Market a while back on my blog and I can’t encourage you enough to check them out. One of their best deals has to be their photography layouts. For example, if you sell art or home décor and can’t afford to do a fancy vignette photo shoot, you can simply buy one of theirs and drop your products in. Check out this value pack from We Lived Happily Ever After on Creative Market with 12 stunning mockups for just $30.

Upcoming Opportunities

Historically, searches for graduation gifts gain momentum in March, increase further in April and then peak in May, which can be too late for some online shops. So start sending out emails for grad gifts to your customers starting in mid March (add a graduation cap emoji in the subject line to really get attention), and if you can prep a special product for this year’s graduates, even better.

Searches for everything prom-related (clothing, shoes, beauty, services, etc.) actually peak in February and March, so this is another category you can be promoting now.

Trending This Week

  • January 27 – National Chocolate Cake Day
  • January 28 – National Have Fun at Work Day
  • January 28 – #republicandebate
  • January 29 – National Puzzle Day
  • January 30 & 31 – NHL All-Star Game
  • January 31 – National Backward Day
  • January 31 – Grease: Live! on Fox
  • February 1 – National Freedom Day (from slavery)
  • February 1 – #TheBachelor
  • February 2 – Groundhog Day

Get My EXCLUSIVE Pinterest Tip!

I have discovered a secret about Pinterest that will get your pins seen by more Pinterest users, get more of your pins shared and drive more traffic to your shop. Simply follow me on Facebook and share this post with your followers, then email me at when you have and I will let you in on the secret!

More Links to Click

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

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

by G.B. Oliver

Every day I get emails from 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
Daily flash sales at

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, 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 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 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.

6 Popular Blogs That Will Mention Your Sale

by G.B. Oliver

Having a sale in your online shop and not sure where to promote it? There are a variety of popular blogs that have regular features, typically on Fridays, where they promote online retailers having sales.

Now, I cannot guarantee they will add you to the list, but it is worth a shot. You could also try adding your sale in their comments section, if you see that they allow others to do it.

Deals of the Day at Lucky Magazine Online
Deals of the Day at Lucky Magazine Online

Where to Promote Your Sale is one of the most widely read blogs for home decor, recipes and more, with over 8 million readers a month. In their online Weekend Guide, they regularly feature Sales & Events from across the country, both online and instore, and even have a submission form for shops to submit theirs. So go for it! is not just a blog for fashion for college girls. It started off that way but has evolved into one of the top fashion blogs, known for their interesting theme inspiration boards. Every Friday they have their Coupons and Sales section, where they post sales from typically the top online fashion stores. That doesn’t mean you can’t try and make their list. Just ask in their contact form. also has a Friday section on their blog called, Top Online Shopping: Weekend RoundUp for fashion and beauty products, as well as mens fashion. Email the editor at and see if they will add your sale to the list.  

Racked is a great blog because it covers fashion, home, kids and wedding products. They have a section called Deal Feed. You can submit your sale as both a National sale or a city-based sale i.e. New York Deal Feed. Submit your deal to and be sure to give all details including the length of time of the sale, the amount of the discount, and what you sell. You can also try to get in their Weekend Sales Report, but it does seem to focus on major retailers.

Lucky Magazine offers a Deal of the Day  at their online site. Mostly fashion and beauty deals, they do seem to promote less known online shops, so it is worth a try. You have to offer a good deal, though. Contact them at lucky

People Magazine’s StyleWatch has a section online called, Exclusive Deals You’ll Actually Use, and they do show deals from smaller vendors here. Contact the editor at but be sure to put, “Submission for Stylewatch’s Exclusive Deals” in the subject line.
MalloryHopeDesign_AGMarketing_eBookNeed More Help Marketing Your Shop?

If you like my blog, you’ll LOVE my series of ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! Get all my amazing marketing tactics (that I don’t put on the blog) with versions for selling Home products, Wedding products, Kids & Baby products and Jewelry & Accessories. Please check out my Ebook Shop at the top of the page.

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

How Helps Artisans Get Paid What They’re Worth

by G.B. Oliver

If you are an artisan or someone who designs and creates a product and markets it, do you feel your work is often undervalued, especially in today’s saturated online market? If you would like to change that, a shopping site that is increasing in popularity may be your answer.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 7.50.48 PM
A marketplace connecting interested buyers with artisans who can fill their custom product requests

CustomMade is a unique type of marketplace. As the name suggests, products are custom-made upon request. Shoppers looking for a specific item bid to have it created by an artisan (or you can hand select an artisan), within a budget range the buyer offers – everything from jewelry to furniture to personalized gifts.

As I was looking over the list of current product requests, I saw buyers requesting a wide range of items – a wood dog statute (willing to pay $250 to $500), a charm for a necklace (willing to pay $100 to $500), a wedding gown (willing to pay $5,000 to $10,000), a two-sided wood animal and shape puzzle (willing to pay $250 to $500) and a ceramic model of a childhood home (willing to pay $500 to $1,000).

Yesterday, CustomMade announced that they have raised $18 million in new funding with an aim to grow further and connect more makers and buyers who crave one-of-a-kind items. It doesn’t hurt that one of their investors was Google Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of Google Inc. (ever heard of them?)

I had actually recommended CustomMade recently to a client of mine who was having zero success selling on one of the popular artisan marketplaces. She felt no one liked the type of jewelry she was designing. She had the skills, she just didn’t know what customers in her target market wanted. So instead of playing the guessing game, she can now offer her talents to make a custom designed jewelry piece, for probably 10 times what she was charging on the other site.

CustomMade currently has a network of over 12,000 professional makers. Furniture and jewelry requests seem to be the most in demand, with apparel and woodwork gaining in popularity. Artisans can also offer their current creations to be remade upon request, it doesn’t always have to be a completely original idea.

There are no sign up or membership fees. Artisans pay a 10% commission to CustomMade based on the final price of the project. Also, the buyer pays the artisan directly, CustomMade is not involved in the transaction. It is recommended that artists ask for 50% of the price up front.

FINAL WORD: If you want to get paid what you’re worth, and focus on custom designs instead of mass-produced items, maybe it is time to take a look at CustomMade (now, if they will just add requests for Marketing Services…)

MalloryHopeDesign_AGMarketing_eBookNeed More Marketing Advice?

My series of ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!walks you through all my best tactics for selling successfully online, with version for selling Home products, Wedding products, Kids & Baby products and Jewelry & Accessories. Please check out my Ebook Shop at the top of the page.

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

Is There a National Day of Observance Right for Promoting Your Business?

by G.B. Oliver

Yesterday on Twitter, I saw that the hash tag “NationalHugYourCatDay” was trending and today I see the hash tag “NationalRunningDay” is trending. So what is the point of these special days of observance and how can your business take advantage?

National_Running_Day_2013-633x421You should know that marketers love holidays. Why wouldn’t we when it makes our jobs so much easier, as the majority of product sales occur at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and so forth.

There was a recent article in Fast Company Magazine that stated that the best way for a national day of observance to really take off as a marketer’s dream is they need to have:

  1. Original cultural authenticity (not a made up holiday)
  2. Rituals you can commercialize
  3. Culture that’s easy hyped
  4. Communal opportunities (occasions to get people together)
  5. Historical distance (happened awhile ago)

For that reason, they explained that Independence Day, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day have, obviously, all become a great marketing opportunities, whereas Groundhog Day, President’s Day and Cinco de Mayo are still in the infancy stage.

Now, if I was selling cat products, I have to say that I would have been all over that trending hash tag on Twitter yesterday, because I would imagine that every cat lover was clicking through those tweets, just as runners will be reading through today’s trending tweets.

So, here are some international days of observance that your business could benefit from, in terms of publicity:

  • Earth Day – April 22nd – for anyone selling green or eco-friendly products, this is a huge publicity opportunity as newspapers and blogs are looking for interesting editorial
  • International Literacy Day – September 8th – a great opportunity for independent book authors and publishers
  • Universal Children’s Day – November 20th – a good opportunity for businesses selling baby and kids products

Here are just a few of the more whimsical, national days of observance (pretty much every type of food has their own day):

  • National Send a Card to a Friend Day – February 7
  • National Fragrance Day – March 21
  • National Golfer’s Day – April 10
  • National Ice Cream Day – July 15
  • National Dog Day – August 26
  • National Grandparent’s Day – September 9

FINAL WORD: Small businesses need to take advantage of every free publicity opportunity available in order to get in front their target market. Maybe some of these days of observance can be an opportunity for yours.

G.B._OliverNeed Help Marketing Your Online Business? 

Have a marketing question? Just ask me in the form below. If you really want to sell more online, check out my series of ebooks with my very best marketing tactics for selling online.

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

The Benefits of Offering Group Discounts

by G.B. Oliver

One of the best ways to get volume orders, as well as repeat business, is to offer discounts to various groups. Here are what some top online retailers offer, that maybe you can apply to your own business.

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 3.26.37 PM

Group DiscountsC Wonder is an online store that sells women’s fashion, accessories and home decor. They have a Group Gifting Program, which means you can apply for special discounts (up to 20%) if you are shopping for the office, PTA or just a large number of people. It is a great way to get your products in front of a new audience because you have one buyer purchasing for many people. 

Trade Discounts Anthropologie has a House & Home Trade program whereby all qualified architects, interior designers and decorating professionals can apply for membership in this group to receive 15% off all regular and sale priced merchandise. West Elm, World Market and Restoration Hardware have similar programs. The trades typically expect discounts, and this ends up acting as both a referral and an endorsement.

Professional Discounts – Beauty companies such as Mac and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics also offers discounts to professional make-up artists, much in the same vein as the trade discounts above.

Student DiscountsAsos is a very popular UK clothing store, and they offer all students (with ID proof) 10% off all items. This offer is smart because they serve a younger demographic and, for this age group, even 10% can be a big deal. Plus, they will tell all their friends. Other stores offering student discounts include TopShop and Banana Republic. 

Teacher Discounts J.Crew recognizes the hard work of teachers and offers them 15% off in their stores, as does The Limited and Ann Taylor. This is a philanthropic gesture as much as a business decision.

So what groups could you offer a discount to that would help increase repeat business, spread word of mouth and expand your market?

If you sell jewelry, offer discounts for bridal parties. If you sell wedding invitations, offer discounts to wedding planners, If you sell pet products, offer discounts to dog trainers and groomers. If you sell toys, offer discounts to registered daycare centers or grandparents. If you sell art, offer discounts to hotels and office buildings. You can set minimum requirements on quantities, if that makes it more reasonable, but, at very least, even a small discount may be the reason someone chooses you over your competition.

G.B._OliverNeed Help Marketing Your Online Business? 

I offer a variety of affordable marketing services. Just contact me at or use the contact form below. Also, check out my Ebook Shop for more marketing advice.

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