ProStores eCommerce Blog

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6 posts from June 2009

Get the Most Out of Your Ad Dollar

If you shop online for luxury bed sheets, more than likely you’re going to come across the ProStores web store EgyptianCottonBedSheets.com. That’s because owner George Daisey spends a lot of time strategizing about his online advertising.

George started selling sheets on eBay before opening his web store in 2005. To help drive his $300,000 in yearly sales, George runs pay-per-click advertising on Google and Yahoo. He also utilizes his ProStores resources to closely monitor his SEO and Google base feed. “I’m always submitting my website to links and directories,” he says. “If you just sit around, you won’t grow.”

George uses the book Search Engine Optimization for Dummies and the ProStores Learning Center and Discussion Board to guide him. He also recommends learning from other people. “It takes a lot of reading and trial and error. I didn’t understand enough about online advertising before to invest enough. I used to spend $60 a month; now I spend $1500-2500.”

But with the economy as it is, he says, “Make sure you’re getting the most out of your money because marketing is expensive. Always adjust, and don’t pay for keywords that are not converting to sales. For example, I make sure I put the words ‘bed sheets’ in all my keywords. There’s a difference between someone looking for Egyptian cotton bed sheets and Egyptian cotton sheets (which could be construed as sheets of cotton fabric). Make sure it’s specific to your product, especially when times are tight. You don’t realize how quickly costs can add up on Google.”

George also stresses the importance of advertising at the right time of day. “Track what time you’re getting the most hits, and advertise when people are up.”

All keyed up on key words?  How do you get the most out of your ad dollar? Leave us a comment.

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Ecommerce Tips from ProStores Merchants

Ever wonder how other online merchants start and manage their business on the web? We decided to start a new section of the blog called "Merchant Tips" where we follow some of our own ProStores merchants and see what eCommerce tips they would give to their fellow small business merchants. Be sure to also add your own in the comments section!

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Recommended Blog: ProStores Tips & Tricks from neoverve

Another great blog from the talented team of folks at neoverve, a ProStores Certified eCommerce Designer. Alot of good coding and design tips as well as a truly amazing portfolio of beautifully designed web stores. Check them out at http://www.neoverve.com/main_index.html

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Conversion Tips: Provide guest checkout

Improve conversion on your site by making it easy for your buyers to checkout from your store anonymously.Some shoppers prefer to make purchases without being forced to create an account or give their personal information.

Merchants can still obtain the necessary information to authorize and fulfill orders. Anonymous customer information is saved on the invoice but it is not saved as a customer record in the customer manager area of ProStores.

 

To do this in ProStores, go to Store Settings > General Preferences and select the Allow both checkout options (registration/sign-in and guest checkout) option in the Shopping Cart and Checkout Options section.

 

Checkout

 

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ProStores Launches New Packages and Lowers Prices

The new offering includes two tiers: ProStores Professional eCommerce for $29.95/month (plus 0.5% successful transaction fee) and ProStores Professional eCommerce Plus for $59.95/month (plus 0.5% successful transaction fee). Merchants can now get the same, powerful set of ecommerce features that were included in our top two product tiers for up to 75% less than our previous pricing plans. Check here for details.

ProStores has also introduced new promotional offers for PowerSellers including a subscription fee waiver for eBay PowerSellers at the Gold, Platinum, and Titanium levels. The eBay Stores promotional offer for ProStores has been discontinued (merchants who signed up for ProStores before May 26, 2009, and continue to subscribe to eBay Stores and ProStores will continue to receive the discounted ProStores subscription rate).

In addition to our new pricing plan, ProStores has released version 9.3, which delivers enhancements to help merchants deliver a better shopping experience to their buyers, streamlines setup for eBay sellers, and offers advice on how to improve storefronts to increase conversion rates. Click here to view the newest features in ProStores 9.3.

All ProStores subscribers who signed up before May 26, 2009 will have their stores upgraded to version 9.3 and migrated over to a new data center. Click here for details.

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Chance to win $25K: Take the eBay Sellers Challenge

EBay

Here's a great opportunity to grow your business on eBay and win $25,000! Submit your business plans and a video presenting your plan to eBay. A panel of experts will identify the best submissions, and the eBay community will pick four winners. Enter the eBay Sellers Challenge by 11:59:59 PM PT on August 6, 2009!

What's great about this promotion is not just the chance to win $25K, but it is a great opportunity for small business merchants like you to sit down and put together a business plan. Do you know who your competitors are? Who is your target market? What are your goals? Do you know how you're going to get there? Do you plan to complement your business on eBay with your own web store and other channels?  If you already have a plan - terrific! This could be an opportunity to refine it and then pitch it to eBay.

Need help with your business plan? There are alot of good resources on the promotion site. You could also check out:

Small Business Association
Entrepreneur Magazine - Writing a Business Plan


Good luck!


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