The KeepersWritten by Mick Meredith
In my 55 years I have spent about 50 of them marketing and selling something. Along way I learned a few things about designing a web site with e-commerce that I would like to share.
1. Keep it simple. Design it to download fast, easy-to-understand with effective graphics and writing.
2. Keep it professional. Good clean appearence and design. Flows well, functional and easy to navigate.
3. Keep it current. Make sure information is timely and accurate. Make changes and updates often.
4. Keep it selling. Install a simple catalogue system complete with a secure shopping cart and credit card ability. Advertise and promote it for new and repeat sales.
5. Keep it sticky. Make it interesting. Make changes and updates often. Provide new, relative information. Add and delete products.
6. Keep it out there. Advertise, promote and share. Be excited to always let people know where your site is. Write newsletters, articles, press releases. Attend conventions and other events.
7. Keep in touch. Personal, quick response to e-mail. Include your real telephone, address. Use auto responders where proper but sparingly. Have brochures and biz cards. Have chat room, bulletin boards, signature lines. Don't ever, ever SPAM!
B2B? Watch your Mouth!Written by Rob Spiegel
There was a precious time then business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce was sweet darling of Internet-based business. Sure, Amazon.com has a great brand name, but B2B was going to change very nature of how business would be conducted in future. Proponents scoffed at consumer e-tailers while pointing to auto-exchange, Covisint, which is projected to handle some $750 billion in goods annually at some not-to-distant point in future. And if Covisint saves automakers just 10 percent on procurement, well goodness, that adds up.
Yet promise of B2B ecommerce is now considered bogus in many business circles, actually in most business circles. B2B has been called a false economy, heart of irrational exuberance, a fool's gold that leads to broken dreams and crushed dreamers. A surprising number of seemingly bright and sincere executives hold B2B ecommerce responsible for very downturn itself.
Oddly, there is considerably less contempt for area of ecommerce that really has shown consistent signs of weakness, mass-market e-tailing. These executives don't scoff at Expedia, eBay or Amazon.com with same venom they bring to online exchanges or supply chain management solutions. Yet if you examine list of 600 or so failed dot coms this year, greater number come from world of consumer-based ecommerce.
The quiet secret not often discussed is that B2B ecommerce continues to show remarkable signs of both present and future success far beyond consumer Net sales. Consumer e-tailing has some success stories, but most fall into area of specialty sites that sell to consumer segments with intense special interests such as hot foods, fly fishing, heirloom gardening or extreme sports. These sites live stealth-like below contempt radar. Most of these special sites, when noticed, elicit admiration.
The bile of contempt is saved for B2B, area of ecommerce that will almost inevitably live up to its transformative promise - in time. And very executives who look on B2B with such disdain are actively in process of implementing e-business systems in their companies to assist with logistics, supply chain analytics, inventory management, design collaboration, Web-based conferencing, reverse auctions, customer relationship management, indirect procurement and spot purchases.