Do you have questions relating to your eCommerce business but no one who you can ask?
I totally understand. I was in that position when I started selling online. I didn’t need one on one coaching or hand-holding, but it would have been helpful to be able to talk to someone who had “been there” when I had questions…
Well, I am here for you.
My eCom Catalyst program puts you in direct contact with me, Audrey Kerwood, each and every month.
Check it out here: http://www.ecomcatalyst.net
It consists of 3 monthly calls – the first is a training and Q & A call where I share my experience on the topic of the month and then answer your questions.
The second is a guest expert call where I interview an expert on the topic of the month and then allow you to ask them your questions live. Some previous guest experts have included: Leslie Rohde – SEO Expert, Chris Malta – eCommerce Expert, Owner of Worldwide Brands, Linda Bustos – eCommerce Trend Expert – Owner of ElasticPath.com, Vin Montello – The Godfather of Copywriting, Mike Wesely – Social Media Expert – Formerly ranked #1 in the World on Twitter, Sherman Hu – Video, Blogging, and New Media Expert… and that’s just naming a few.
The third is an open Q & A call where you can ask me anything and everything about eCommerce. These calls go on as long as there are questions, I will always answer everyone’s questions every time.
Plus you have 24/7 access to the eCom Catalyst online forum where all members can interact and ask questions whenever they come up. I’m in there personally everyday answering questions and offering resources that will benefit your eCommerce business.
You also get access to the last 14 months of the recorded calls. All those experts that you missed, you get to learn from. All the training and Q & A sessions are yours to listen to at your convenience.
Each and everyone of the eCom Catalyst members has seen an increase in their business since joining the group. This is a winning team you want to be part of.
And… it only costs $37 per month. You can’t beat that, I dare you to try…
Ramp up your eCommerce success today: http://www.ecomcatalyst.net
Do you find yourself getting stuck when it comes to deciding what you should be focusing on in your store?
Are you having trouble figuring out what is keeping your store from being the profit-maker you know it should be?
Would direct access to a seasoned eCommerce Expert help you increase the bottom line of your online store?
Find out how you can get unstuck and add rocket fuel to your online business.
Find Out More => http://ecomcatalyst.net/
You will gain direct access to me, Audrey Kerwood, on live calls and through a 24/7 online forum.
You will also have direct access to a new expert each and every month. Here is a taste of the caliber of experts you will be in contact with:
• Leslie Rohde – SEO Expert
• Chris Malta – eCommerce Expert, Owner of Worldwide Brands
• Linda Bustos – eCommerce Trend Expert, owner of ElasticPath.com
• Vin Montello – The Godfather of Copywriting
• Ross Goldberg – Web Traffic & SEO Expert
• Shirley Tan – eCommerce Expert, founder of American Bridal
• Mike Wesely – Social Media Expert, Formerly ranked #1 in the World on Twitter
• Eric Stafford – Conversion Expert
• Sherman Hu – Video, Blogging, and New Media Expert
• Plus many more
Find Out More => http://ecomcatalyst.net/
For everyone who wasn’t able to make it to the webinar live the other night,
Brendan Will has posted a replay of the entire webinar for you.
You don’t have to do anything special to watch – you don’t have to register
or download anything – just watch at your own convenience.
On the webinar Brendan, Lesley, and I talked extensively about content
creation for eCommerce stores. We spent a lot of time talking specifically
about writing product descriptions and articles / blog posts.
I walk you through everything I do to create this content, step by step.
I also answer over 50 questions submitted by listeners and take live
questions from those on the call.
This was an informative webinar I think you should take the time to
listen to. You’ll learn about content creation and get new ideas you
can implement on your store immediately.
Tomorrow you can get the questions to your content marketing problems answered. Join Brendan Will, Lesley Rice, and I (Audrey Kerwood) as we go over your most common problems with content marketing.
- No more problems rewriting your product descriptions. We have an action plan for that.
- No more problems deciding what types of articles to write to best promote your business, we have a plan for that too.
Sign up for the webinar now.
There is a bonus recording available on how to improve your site conversion rate just for signing up.
There was such a rush to register yesterday that the website went down. Thanks, that made us feel pretty awesome This has been fixed so there will be no problems registering. We’ll see you tomorrow night!
Choosing a Platform Based on Price
Yes, price is a consideration when choosing a platform. Should it be the main consideration?
Absolutely not. If you’re shopping for a store platform you either already have a product to sell or you’re doing research and looking for vendors. You’re ready to go, toss that, you’re raring to go!
Before you jump into a platform consider how you’re going to feel about it six months down the road.
Switching platforms is doable but definitely not fun and certainly not what you should be spending your time or money doing. Once your store is built your focus should be on promotion and marketing not the underlying tech. I understand budget constraints but picking the right platform in the beginning will save both time and money in the long run.
Here are some things to look for:
- An SEO friendly function or module – You need complete control over your meta tags for each and every page.
- Cross Selling – When used correctly cross selling can be huge for your eCommerce store.
- Coupons – You need to be able to create discounts for anything in your store and there should be no limit on the number you can create.
- User defined URLs – This isn’t strictly necessary but I prefer creating a custom URL to having the product name used automatically.
- Database functionality – Using a spreadsheet to create and upload your product data is much faster than creating them separately in the backend.
You also want to look into the availability of outside customization. Unless you’re a developer you’re going to run into things you want done that you’re not able to do yourself. You may have found an awesome, cheap platform that has all the functionality you need but if you can’t find any good developers to help you customize it or the work is prohibitively expensive it doesn’t do you much good.
Here are my top three platform recommendations:
- Yahoo Merchant Solutions – http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-4073363-10432576 – Yahoo offers good functionality with an easy to learn interface. You have the choice of building your store three different ways. You can use the built-in templates, Yahoo’s own HTML editor called SiteBuilder, or build your own templates using Store Tags. Everything about using Yahoo is easy on the surface and you can build your store quickly.
Once you get under the surface of the platform it gets very complicated. It runs off RTML, which is not easy to learn so almost all of your customizations will have to be outsourced. I’m not a fan of SiteBuilder, I think it is very limiting and not a truly viable way to build your store. But Yahoo is decently priced and good for beginners.
- Xcart – http://www.finestshops.com/go/ba3ece70.html – This is an all around great platform. It has all the basic functions you need and just about anything else you want can be created by a custom programmer. Xcart code can be copied and pasted into any HTML editor so you can do your own customizing comfortably.
Xcart is a bit complicated. Even if you’re comfortable with HTML there is a learning curve while getting used to the Smarty PHP the platform uses. So you’ll either have to pay for most of what you want changed or take the time to learn it for yourself. If you do learn, there is almost nothing you can’t do.
- ShopSite – http://www.lexiconn.com/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=audreykerwood – This platform is like an amalgamation of Yahoo and Xcart. It has the excellence of Xcart functionality and flexibility combined with the simplicity of Yahoo. But it is also more expensive than both.
If you’re comfortable with HTML you’ll be customizing in no time. The ShopSite templates work off calls to other files or pieces of information, It takes some getting used to but it’s more intuitive than Xcart in it’s structure. If you’re not interested in making your own changes there are great developers out there who understand SEO and conversion. ShopSite has an easy to use database function that makes adding products much faster than one at a time through the store backend. All in all it’s a great platform.
I use the Store Tags from Yahoo in my own custom designed templates. I do 99% of my own customization in Xcart. I had my first set of templates for ShopSite designed by a developer and learned how to do it myself from looking at them. Those are my top recommendations.
Whether you go with one of them or not keep this in mind – you want a platform you can afford now with the functionality you need now, the functionality you’ll need six months or a year from now, and the ability to customize it yourself or hire someone to do it.
As long as those four aspects are covered your platform will be sound.
You need to start planning NOW… and have the best Christmas season your store has ever experienced.
On this webinar, I will be taking you step-by-step through my own personal eCommerce holiday preparation process. I’ll not only show you WHAT I do, I’ll explain WHY and HOW it helps bring in more sales each year.
Sunday, August 1st at 7pm Eastern – Register here: http://eComIncubator.com
Each step from the end of August right up through the New Year will be covered. You can see exactly what an online store needs to do to raise it’s holiday presence and profits.
There will be live Q & A with Audrey following the presentation and 2 special BONUS GIFTS for attendees.
This is a totally free event, I hope to see you there!
One of the questions I get asked over and over is what shopping cart platform I most use and recommend. Over the past few years I’ve tried a number of carts and found a few that I’m very happy with. There is one though that stands ahead of the crowd in my opinion.
There are plenty of powerful carts that can be customized but most of them are so complicated even simple tweaks need to be done by a developer. ShopSite is simple enough for a person with no experience to jump into and start building. If you have HTML knowledge you’ll quickly be able to start customizing the templates or building your own. ShopSite templates work off simple calls to include files which makes them easy to work with so you can build your store the way you want it.
So that’s my answer to one of the most common questions I get. I’m happy to elaborate if anyone has questions, post a comment.
I also have a recommendation for ShopSite hosting. I use Lexiconn for my ShopSite stores. They are fantastic and that is not an exaggeration. I’ve never had to wait more than a half hour to get a question answered and any issues that have popped up have been fixed in less than 24 hours. They’re helpful and the hosting is high end.
There are other ShopSite hosts out there that are cheaper, but the level of service Lexiconn offers is worth the extra, it’s only like $20 more, per month. They offer a few add-on modules that I recommend including the Order Status Module and Product Review Module.
If you’re thinking about going with ShopSite, check out Lexiconn. This is my affiliate link: http://www.lexiconn.com/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=audreykerwood
Again, I’m happy to answer any questions. Choosing a platform is a big decision and making the right choice from the start will save you time, stress, and money. So do some exploring and make sure the cart you go with has all the features you need and any others you want.
I can only coach 7 directly. I need 7 Bad Ass students who are ready to implement quickly. That’s the BAD ASS OFFER below, FOR BAD ASS PROFIT-MINDED PEOPLE WHO CRAVE WEEKLY PERSONAL MASTERMINDING AND ARE WILLING TO COMMIT TO 15+ HOURS A WEEK OF FOCUSED IMPLEMENTATION of MY INSTRUCTION.
There is a lighter version, where you go at your own pace… FOR PROFIT-MINDED PEOPLE WHO CRAVE WEEKLY DIRECT CONTACT WITH THEIR INSTRUCTOR… And, who are motivated enough by making more that they have a track-record in being able to follow step-by-step instructions that are well written and supported in weekly Q&A.
This is access like you’ve never had before.
Weekly Classes + Q&A eCommerce Catalyst
Audrey Kerwood Personal Mastermind
YOU MUST BE A BAD ASS!
$197 each month + Other Biz Expenses
YOUR SUCCESS STORY IS MY PRODUCT!
3-Months Total… Must be willing to document
PROGESS AND ALLOW ME USE OF DOCS.
Tonight at 8pm EST Todd Chism and I will be hosting a free eCommerce webinar!
We’re going to be sharing proven ways to easily build and grow your eCommerce store. And when I say proven, I’m not talking theory – these are things we do in our own eCommerce stores that you will be able to put into action immediately.
If you know me at all then you know I like to talk action, you can get theory anywhere. You can take what I tell you, apply it directly to your store, and start seeing results right away. I believe in keeping it simple – do this and this will happen. So join us tonight – for free!
Depending on how you operate your eCommerce store, you may or may not have physical access to the products you sell. If you’re one of the many (like me) who use drop shippers the whole point of your business model to NOT to handle the products. So we’re left with the images provided to us by our drop shippers.
If you’ve spent any time shopping online you’ve probably seen several websites that have all or mostly the same product images. As a shopper what did that make you think? That all those websites are basically the same?
If nothing about your site stands out to the visitor they’re going to base their purchase on price. Now, it’s very true there are a lot of ways to make your site stand out from your competitors – Unique Selling Propositions, Discount Offers, Higher Search Positions, etc. Well product images are another that I think is very important but many eCommerce storeowners overlook it in the effort to build their store quickly.
It’s understandable from a store building perspective but what about from a customer perspective?
Let’s talk practically.
You have an image from your drop shipper of jewelry box. It’s sitting on top of a green blanket. Everyone using that drop shipper is also using that image. How do you think taking the green blanket out of the picture so the jewelry box is on a white background will effect the look of your product page? Do you think seeing yours will catch a visitors eye because it looks different than all the others she has seen during her search?
Yes it will!
Anything you can do to make your product stand out from the rest is a good thing. What’s nice about the images is it’s not that difficult. You need an image editor like PhotoShop and, as with all new techniques, it’ll take a bit of practice but spending a minute or two altering a product image is time well spent.
Even if all you do it flip the image horizontally, that’s enough to change your visitors perception of the image.
I take the backgrounds out of every product image I put on my stores. If I’m adding products quickly I sometimes add them as they are and then go back and alter them later… but I ALWAYS alter them.
Drop Shipper Image:
This is something that can be outsourced as well. I have an employee who does most of our image work and since I like using PhotoShop I do some myself if I’m just sitting around watching TV.
This is one of the small steps not taken by the vast majority of online store owners. You should, every little change helps.