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Outdoor Business Network Adds New Supplier

We here at OBN are proud to welcome our newest supplier to our system.  We have completed the integration with their ERP and warehouse management system, so retailers using our eCommerce platform now have the ability to get updated product information, inventory status, order status, as well as utilize our One-Click-to-Ship feature.

Moteng is familiar with online fulfillment and drop shipping.  They even have a program dedicated to it.  If you are a current Moteng customer, or an outdoor retailer looking to expand its offerings, it is worth a look.   Moteng’s product section includes knives & tools, public safety equipment, lights, apparel, outdoor equipment, kitchen cutlery, and more.  To find out more about our new integration, give us a call at 1-800-699-0820 ext. 1, one of our team members would be glad to answer your questions.

More about Moteng:

Moteng was founded in 1980 in Los Angeles as a supplier of knives and imported African artifacts. Fine wall hangings hand woven by the Moteng Mountain tribesman in the Kingdom of Lesotho gave the company its name.

Moteng has continually enhanced both its products and services. Our website has been rated as having the most information and easiest to use by our customers.

In 1987 the company relocated to San Diego, California. In 2011 the company moved it’s warehouse into it’s present location in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2011, Black Orchid Equity, LLC, a private equity firm, purchased Moteng NA, LLC and gave the company capital to operate and grow in the space for another 30 years.

Thanks to the incredible support of our very loyal customers and vendors, Moteng has grown to become one of the leading wholesale distributors and drop-shippers in our industry. Moteng now offers over 100,000 items from over 250 best selling brands.
Look through our product range or contact us for a catalog. We look forward to doing business with you soon

Brick and Mortar Tips for Online Stores: Part 6

To wrap up or blog series on utilizing the values of brick and mortar retail in your online store, we are going to cover that basics of marketing your site the same way you would if you owned a storefront. Many people assume that they can simply purchase a website, get it online and then the customer will just flock there and start buying. These assumptions can lead people to failure when they do not properly market their sites or put time and money into hiring professionals to do so.

To build a successful website, marketing should be divided into two main groups. There is user-specific marketing to customers, which includes social media, e-mail marketing and original content on your site. This is important because it will build your credibility within the eyes of your customers and ensure return shopping. Marketing this way is building the image you will portray to your customers and potential shoppers. User-specific marketing has the main goal of being interactive and informative for your customers. It should include any information pages that a customer would use on your site, video clips, product reviews and any other unique content that makes the user experience on your site easier.

Then, there is the SEO/PPC marketing aspect. This marketing is in place to boost your search engine results, whether they are organic or paid. User-specific marketing is the trend in the industry right now and search engines seem to favor original content, however, to properly market your website your strategy needs to encompass both of these tactics. You want to develop a strong brand with your customers but you also need to be doing SEO and PPC marketing to reach out to new clients.

Brick and Mortar Tips for Online Stores: Part 5

Next in our series we will go over the ways in which you can merchandise your online store to suit the needs of your customers and get their return business. Generally, retail stores change their visual merchandising once a month – sometimes more if there are specific promotions that they need to do a floor change for. This is helpful advice to online retailers, as your online store should also be re-merchandised on a regular basis.

Think of your brick and mortar store or the last time you visited a retail store. The products in the store are going to be organized and displayed in a manner that provokes the customer to shop and to buy. If it was a pet store, for example, there would be different areas for dogs and cats and fish set up so that customers would know to go to a specific part of the store to find what they are looking for. Your ecommerce site should also accomplish this by categorizing and organizing your products in a way that makes sense to you and your customers. You wouldn’t want someone to click on a link for dogs and end up with aquariums and hamster food.

Aside from organizing your products in a shopable manner, you’re going to want to update this merchandising on a regular basis. You don’t have to change your entire product arrangement every month, but you should be conscious of your featured products and specials. These things need to be updated so that customers get a sense of new and exciting offers and items when they visit your site. If you can keep a customer engaged when they come to your store, you can get their return business instead of a one-time shopper.

Brick and Mortar Tips for Online Stores: Part 2

To continue with our series on applying brick and mortar ideas to your online store, this segment will cover how you can implement tools to make your online shoppers feel as though they have the same customer service that they would at your shop.

When you go to a retail store, one of the first things that will happen is a sales associate will greet you (hopefully in a friendly manner) and ask you what you are looking for or if you need help finding a specific item. The associate might also tell the customer what specials are going on or what products are currently on sale.

You can do several different things to achieve this same effect online, utilizing multiple features to recreate some of the convenience of having a sales associate to reference.

To assume the role of greeter for your web store, you can use bright banner images on your landing page to greet your customers. This will need to be friendly, informative and aesthetically interesting to engage your customers and get them to look further into your shop. Think about what you do when you visit a site for the first time. Do you give the site a chance to load fully and display all of its images? Do you read the full page before deciding to navigate further? Normally, you are going to have less than 10 seconds to get a customer hooked on your page. The landing page will serve as a greeter and hopefully will achieve this for your web store.

In addition to having great content on your landing page, having a chat feature is another wonderful way to engage your customers. A chat feature allows customer to interact with your support staff in an anonymous way (if they choose) that often times gives them a sense of security. It can help your customers who may have anxieties about talking on the phone with a sales rep as it is a digital interface.

Another tip to creating a great service element is having a properly functioning search bar. If a customer can search for a certain product within your site, it is a great tool for them in navigation. It’s almost like having a salesperson there who you can ask what isle you’ll find the product in. This feature should be user-friendly, adapting to misspellings and other factors of human error. Maybe you don’t carry a certain product online but you carry it in store. This tool should be used in the same way a sales person would be. If a customer asks for something that doesn’t exist in your store, can you offer suggestions like a salesperson would?

These simple steps, although they’ll probably take some programming work from your developers, will ensure that you don’t lose sight of customer service on your ecommerce site.

Brick and Mortar Tips for Online Stores: Part 1

In this series, we will be examining the ways in which retail stores can help us to better optimize online stores. For those of you who already have a brick and mortar, these tips might seem familiar and will be easily implemented. Those who don’t have a storefront might have some trouble with a few concepts, but will ultimately see the value in applying these processes to online marketplaces.

First, let’s talk about window space in retail. When you are at a shopping center or walking down a main street, looking at the shops, the first thing that you’re going to notice is the shop’s windows. These windows stand as a snippet of what the store has to offer. The color stories, the placement, the signage – all of these things are designed to peak your curiosity and get you to come inside. Some stores might even place signage out on the sidewalk or have a greeter, handing out coupons or fliers outside the front door.

In correlation to your web store, the front shop windows are your homepage or landing page. This is the first thing that a customer sees of your store and you have less than 10 seconds to impress them and get them to stay on your page.

Thinking of a retail space, shops are consistently redoing their windows to keep current and interesting. If you passed a store several times and the windows were the same, you probably wouldn’t go in because there wouldn’t be anything new or noteworthy. The same is true of your front/landing page. These need to be changed constantly to keep customers returning.

To recap, treat your landing page like storefront windows – change it up, keep it current and make it interesting to draw in traffic and keep customers coming back for more.

The Art of Facebook Domination

People from over 200 countries across the globe flock to Facebook to connect people. But what connection are they truly making — what connection to their favorite brands are they making, more importantly? What does the average user really want out of their Facebook experience? The realm of Facebook encompasses more than profile pictures and relationship statuses. It surrounds the basic human instinct to feel important; to feel as though your voice is being heard. That being said, what can be done on your page to encourage people not only to like your page but to enjoy going there on a daily basis. Breaking down the fundamental communication value of Facebook is key to incorporating a successful social media strategy into your brand. I will be using Coca-Cola to demonstrate three tips that can be developed over time to build something more than a brand — a true following. With over 41,000,000 likes, Coca-Cola has built a following with a social media empire to match:

1. Be True to Your Fans

There is a reason that people buy your product or partake in your services. Keep yourself rooted in that essential part of your business that got you fans in the first place. If you are going through a re-branding phase or are considering making a jump to a social media campaign, remember that within your innovation, there needs to be a core value that your business has carried and that has been related to your customers.

Coca-Cola is a great example of a company who keeps up with their evolving image while staying true to the basic values that most people associate with it. This is America’s brand and has always upheld this image with their advertising campaigns. Their cover photo on Facebook emulates the same emotions that some of their earliest advertisements did: wholesome, youthful, fun, tradition — a refreshing beverage to be enjoyed by all.

The mind-boggling thing about Coca-Cola is that it is virtually one product (beverage) that has made such a powerful throne as a brand. According to their website, “From humble beginnings 125 years ago, our Company has evolved from one product — Coca-Cola — to more than 500 brands in 2011. We’ve grown from selling a modest 9 drinks a day in 1886 to 1.8 billion a day. And we’ve expanded from one city in one country to availability in more than 200 countries around the world.”

1.8 billion a day. That could translate to roughly 26% of the global population buying a Coke on a daily basis.

2. Give Your Fans a Voice
Something that every good salesperson knows is that people love to talk about themselves. If you get them to tell you what they are truly in the market for, it is simple to sell it to them. Coca-Cola gives their fans a forum and an opportunity to be heard. The company encourages fan involvement and they put that right in their Facebook introduction, “The Coca-Cola Facebook Page is a collection of your stories showing how people from around the world have helped make Coke into what it is today.”

What fan wouldn’t want to be part of one of the biggest brands in the world?

So what you need to do is give your fans and opportunity to do your marketing for you. It’s as basic as the word-of-mouth method, but translate that into social media. Let them tell the story of your product and partner with local businesses and archives to do the same. This is the simplest way to let your loyal customers, the ones who actually spend a lot of time using your product, tell you what they want. It’s the survey, the research, the data collection, the analysis all rolled into one. And it’s free!

3. Incorporate All of your Branding Materials

Not only has Coke taken over the web, they’ve taken over color association. When you see red and white or even a red bottle icon, you know that it’s Coke without even having to think about it. Their social media is no different. It reeks of red and white and the Coke brand in a way that associates all of your fondest childhood memories with their Facebook. Remember being barefoot in the summertime grass, drinking a Coke and eating chips. Maybe waiting for 4th of July fireworks to start. Maybe playing with your best friend that moved away when their dad got a job two states over.

This branding pulls everything together with two colors, focusing on their heritage and yet calling people to action by telling them to “express themselves.” What Coke has done, is it’s become a cultural icon to the extent of which almost every significant image used in their advertising gets sucked into their image vortex. Polar bear. Santa Claus. These are things that have become part of their strategy and part of the reason why people drink 1.8 billion a day.

So how can you take this theory and apply it to your business? Incorporate a strong color association with your brand name. People associate by color more than almost any other medium because it’s usually the first thing you notice when looking at an ad. Develop a strong design and utilize colors in your branding efforts. Then, once you have developed the strong brand, make sure that your different networks, websites and other branded items are plastered with the same palette. Keep it consistent. This is crucial to getting your branding materials involved on Facebook.

Be sure to incorporate other things. The logo, pictures of the storefront, pictures of the employees. Show them who you are as well as what you do. This will encourage trust, which is essential in building any relationship. Keep your brand strong and consistent and be sure to incorporate these things in your Facebook page.

 

Hungry for more? Check out our website to see what services we offer in web-marketing, social media and brand development.

 

 

Mother’s Day Sales: Marketing to Online Shoppers

Many of us will go out this next week and find gifts for mom, grandma and other family members that we recognize on Mother’s Day. However, few people realize that Mother’s Day and the days leading up to it, if marketed correctly, can be some of the biggest revenue days of the year. The beauty of this holiday, however, is that it is one that flourishes within the world of e-Commerce.

This survey done by shop.org, which is owned by the National Retail Federation, says that 31.7% of consumers who celebrate Mother’s Day and shop online will be spending more this year than they have in the past, while only 17.1% of consumers who do not shop online for Mother’s Day are planning to spend more. The survey shows data that in every shopping category offered, online shoppers will spend more this Mother’s Day than regular shoppers.

So what is your business doing to tailor to this trend? Here are three tips to help get you started:

1. Use social couponing to spread the word. Shoppers have been clipping coupons since their inception, and the creation of social coupons such as Groupon and Living Social have taken this practice to the next level. Local businesses across the country partner with these coupon giants to create Mother’s Day packages to make it easy on the consumer and special for mom. Check out some of their gift ideas here.

2. Develop new keywords. Customers are going to be searching for local and national deals on the web, so make sure your site is prepared for the searches to come. You can make a page especially for your Mother’s Day specials, or include content on your homepage — just be sure that whatever you are doing has location-focused key words or Mother’s Day keywords to drive traffic to your page. When searching Mother’s Day gifts, you can be sure that shops like ediblearrangements.com will be optimizing their sites for those searches. Getting high rankings on a page like that takes serious time and resources, but getting on a local page is feasible to do in time to catch the holiday shoppers.

3. Market through your social media. Aside from using social coupons, use your Facebook and Twitter to advertise for Mother’s Day. The people who are following you or liking your page are already fans of your product or services, so marketing strongly to that niche is a no-brainer. Again, Edible Arrangements is on top of things. Something as simple as changing your cover photo to remind fans of the upcoming holiday will help spark interest in your product and help drive traffic to your e-Commerce site.