Folks I simply had to touch on this. The past few months the number one bit of feedback (complaints) is that the distributors have no product for them to sell. I ask. What products are you specifically referring to? The overwhelming response is firearms, ammo & magazines. Every customer I talk to repeat this to me over and over. Now I am no fool and understand all too well what is happening right now in our industry. I also understand that there is a definite shortage if you will on those for mentioned products. Here is the major news flash many retailers are missing. THOSE ARE NOT THE ONLY ITEMS THE DISTRIBUTORS CARRY FOR YOU TO SELL!!! The major distributors carry and currently stock tens of thousands of items for the outdoor sports and shooting industries. I know it isn’t the fun stuff like a Sig Equinox or a box of PMags but it is a bunch of stuff consumers want and need. Many of these items are consumables that will be re-ordered from time to time. As a retailer it is your job to show case all these other products. Let’s take for an example a lot of guns have been bought out there and no doubt a bunch where first time gun owners. These people will need all the usual cleaning accessories, targets, hearing protection, gun oils & lubes, bi-pods, shooting rests, belts, holsters etc. The veteran gun owners will need, sights, tools, parts, spacers, grips, just to name a few. The simple fact is there are way more items to sell than to not sell. I have customers who have truly embraced this mindset and have learned with our help to market and sell a ton of these “forgotten” products. These customers have shown growth in a time when others are stuck wallowing in mediocrity. To survive and do well in any industry you must adapt and overcome with the changing times. As always contact our sales department to learn more. 1-800-699-0820 ext. 1
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Here is a list of some of the things Google loves to see. This is by no means all inclusive but it serves as a good guide of some things we feel are important to getting found out there in the World Wide Web. For more information on how to utilize these concepts please email or give us a call.
1) Google loves video. Video is a definitely a trend we are seeing to promote products, goods and services. Keep in mind that Google owns YouTube so that can bode well for search results
2) Google loves to see Google analytics in place and that your site is being monitored from time to time. In the e-tail world though you should be in there many times a day.
3) Google rewards real time updates through social media outlets such as Twitter and Face Book. Relevant links and keywords to your site are what is key here.
4) Google maps can be a good thing on your site too. This is particularly important when it comes to driving your target audience to a physical store location
5) Google loves a blog. This is another great way to tie in links and keywords with your site.
6) Google loves content. Not just any content but new and fresh content. Changing up a news section on your home page from time to time is a good thing. You may also want to consider adding some downloadable content perhaps in PDF format to allow users easy access to information.
7) Google loves tags. Well written keyword infused meta descriptions will serve you well when your site is being crawled for pertinent content.
8) Google loves links. Many text based links over time in a consistent manner are an important piece of the Google puzzle. Getting other reputable sites to link to yours is a huge advantage.
9) Google loves traffic. As I said in a past blog. Traffic is rewarded. Getting that traffic there in the first place is the challenge but once it is Google recognizes and rewards the effort.
10) Google likes consistency in your site. Ensure all your links go somewhere as broken links are simply put bad.
What is the number one thing an e-commerce website needs in order to be successful? The simple answer is “Traffic”. Without traffic you have nothing. You have no data to measure your success otherwise. I say this because if you have a pile of traffic you have useful data that can be used to determine the performance of your marketing efforts within your site. So you see without the traffic there in the first place you have nothing to go on. So if you want more on-line sales you absolutely must have the traffic coming to your site. Still not convinced? I took a random sampling of 12 of our clients. This sampling consisted of clients who have been on board from 7-27 months. What I found was a trend that simply cannot be denied. The chart below shows the actual numbers of this sample group. So once again traffic is the name of the game when it comes to success in e-commerce.
So of course the next question is usually this: How do I get traffic to my site in the first place? The answer to that is as broad as the question is. If you really want to know more I suggest reading our BLOG and of course calling us in the first place to answer your questions.
I understand a lot has been written about marketing your e-commerce storefront. Hundreds and thousands of tips and tricks are on the internet and just as many “experts” touting their services as the best to give you Amazonian like status in the Google rankings.. With all that is out there many of you refuse to accept the fact that you actually have to market your website to make it successful. The blame is shifted to a lack of product availability or perhaps a down economy. We the reality is more than likely it comes down to one simple thing and that is traffic. Traffic is the number one measure we use to evaluate a given websites success. Obviously it goes on from there as far as important metrics but without traffic there is nothing else to measure.
The World Wide Web is a big place. Do you honestly think that some of the huge brands such as Amazon, Ebay, Zappos etc grew successful web based businesses buy simply building a site and turning it on? The answer you should be thinking is a “NO!” These companies have spent 100’s of millions marketing themselves to drive traffic to their respective sites in order to become house hold names. The simple beauty of the internet is that it gives the small to medium size guy a legitimate shot at competing with some of the known big dogs in any given industry. This will not happen for free though. You will spend either time or money to accomplish this and in many cases both. So the question is raised from this….How much is your time worth? You better know the answer to that before saying “I will spend the time and do this myself”. More often than not business owners make the mistake of taking on these types of tasks not factoring in what their time is really worth. Sure it may be “expensive” to hire a company such as Outdoor Business Network to handle your marketing efforts but at what cost is it to your business to have you fooling with marketing and not managing maybe your employees at your brick and mortar or tending to current customers. This also doesn’t factor in that something for a pro marketing agency may only take 3-4 hours to accomplish may end up taking you 30, 40 or more hours for the same task. These are things you need to ask yourself.
Still don’t think you need to market your website. Let me paint this picture. You have just built the most beautiful brick and mortar storefront known to man. The location however has it in the middle of a forest in the middle of nowhere USA. There are no roads leading to this store whatsoever. Now remember it is an amazing store and people WILL buy if they go there. In order for your store to be successful you need people or traffic coming through the doors correct. The fastest way to do this is run a major highway right by this store for all that drives by to see. People will stop and they will shop and if it is a positive experience they will tell others all about this amazing store. Over time you will have built up enough word of mouth advertising you may be able to expand into some paid advertising. Your website works in the exact same way. You have to build traffic buy building paths or routes to your store through various digital marketing efforts. It does work however it does take time, patience and effort. If you want it to work faster then it will of course take real dollars to make that happen.
So my advice is simple. Start small if you absolutely have to but by all means start somewhere. Success rarely happens overnight and even less often happens without effort. Give us a call if you would like to learn more about our marketing programs and how to better present your website.