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In May of this year, visits to ecommerce sites were up 35 percent over May of last year, according to Goldman Sachs. Jupiter Media Metrix reported that Amazon's traffic was up 34 percent this May over last May, reaching 20 million visitors. Walmart.com visits were up 126 percent this May over last May.
So I received an email this week from Manuel Morales, owner of Sign3.com, a site that allows NFL fans to vote for their favorite team. He receives 1,000 visitors each day, which gives his site total page views of 4000 per day. And he's asking how to profit from this traffic. The simple answer is "Don't bother trying to sell adverting."
With his type of targeted audience, Manuel probably stands a better chance of selling official team products to create profits. He can likely obtain products through affiliation or direct inventory purchases. He can tie an individual team product page to votes for a particular team so fan sees only page for team selected. He can outsource product shipping to manufacturer or distributor.
The strategy of selling products to visitors is not foolproof, but given advertising statistics versus retail sales statistics, product sales are certainly strategy most likely to succeed. And given ability to use affiliation with product distributors as an alternative to actually buying inventory and filling garage with stock, product route may come with little risk.
Rob Spiegel is the author of Net Strategy (Dearborn) and The Shoestring Entrepreneur's Guide to the Best Home-Based Businesses (St. Martin's Press). You can reach Rob at email@example.com