Eleven Tips to Prepare for the 2011 Holiday Season

Some of the tips here were first revealed in Retail Online Integration Magazine. Originally we came up with 11 tips and although we consolidated the tips to 10 in the Magazine we decided it would be nice to leave it as 11 tips on the Sasson Collection Blog As 11 Tips for the 2011 Holiday Shopping Season.

GET READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS!The holiday season is the best time of year for almost all retailers and e-commerce retailers specifically need to gear up in order to make sure they capitalize on the Season of Joy! In many cases retailers make the majority of their profits during these months and if a retailer is unprepared this may mean a sub-par season leading to a bad year that might bring on the demise of the company.
Continue reading “Eleven Tips to Prepare for the 2011 Holiday Season”

The Fallacy of Commoditization

I recently heard a presentation regarding marketing and pricing which I completely disagreed with and I decided to write an explanation why I disagree profusely.

To start with I would like to summarize the presentation and provide the main points and their basis to the reader.

  1. Businesses must accept commoditization since customers are now much better educated and informed
  2. Value add services should not be used to protect the price but should become a profit centers — If the customer is not willing to pay for the value add a business must be willing to walk away from it.
  3. Maintain or improve profits by reducing your operating and direct costs faster then you drop your price — Focus on profit not price.
  4. In the past the following was true:
    – Quality drove higher prices
    – Companies provided more then expected
    – People wanted face to face
    – Personal relationships had value
    – Security had value
  5. New Reality:
    – Quality Improvements allow price reduction
    – Must meet, not exceed, expectations to cut costs
    – People avoid face to face
    – Relationships only allow last look
    – Mass Commoditization
  6. Selling as we know it is history:
    – People and businesses do not want to be sold to.
    – They want to buy when they are ready to do so
  7. Reduce selling costs and other costs and price becomes the differentiator and the sales force

Keys for Pricing in today's economy To summarize the presentation the speakers contentions are that you must reduce price since buyers are educated about your market. In addition, You should cut costs faster then you cut prices so that you maintain or improve profitability.
Continue reading “The Fallacy of Commoditization”

Improve Your Conversion Rate with a Manufacturing Approach

Conversion Rate with a Manufacturing ApproachWhen we hear words like “continuous improvement” and “reducing defects,” we typically think of a manufacturing operation. However, ecommerce merchants can take the same approach and apply manufacturing concepts to ecommerce conversion-rate improvement.

Valuing Visitor Actions
Every action by a visitor to your website has a certain value. A sale is value-based on the average revenue or gross profit; a lead is valued-based on percentages that convert over time. For example, assume a close ratio — also called a “conversion rate” — on a website is 1 percent and it is equal to $100,000 of value, from a marketing spend of $20,000. If we can increase the close ratio to 2 percent, we will get — for the same marketing spend — $200,000 worth of value. If we increased sales without improving conversion then we would have likely had to increase marketing expense, which would have decreased or destroyed profitability. But using close-ratio improvement allows us to grow sales without increasing expenses, which allows the company to now invest in many other aspects that create additional growth.
Continue reading “Improve Your Conversion Rate with a Manufacturing Approach”

The Potential Impact of Click Fraud

Click FraudClick fraud is costing online merchants millions of dollars. According to Click Forensics click fraud in 2009 was $800 Million and it is on the rise this year. If you are an online retailer and you advertise via cost per click (CPC) then you are probably suffering from click fraud to some degree.
Continue reading “The Potential Impact of Click Fraud”

David on Mixergy.com – Focus Helps Turn the Corner

Imagine having a mix of experienced businesspeople mentoring you. That’s the mission of Mixergy.com.

Checkout David Sasson’s Interview with Andrew Warner from Mixergy.com about establishing overstockArt.com and turning the corner when things were tough.

David Sasson was exhausted from holding down a full-time job while running overstockArt, his online store for discount artwork. Then, in 2009, the bad economy hit his company hard and it was in trouble and he wasn’t sure he could pay his employees. That’s when he did something unexpected.

Instead of closing shop, he quit his job and focused on his business full time. What he did turned his business around completely and turned a disastrous year into one of his company’s best. What did he do? The details are in this interview.

I wanted the thank Andrew for the interview, it is always so much fun talking about your business, after all, this is what I am passionate about. I hope that this interview helps any young entrepreneur starting a business and I wish Andrew continued success with Mixergy.com.