10.14.08

Google Adwords Kick Start Course!

Posted in E-commerce, Entrepreneurship, Google, Online Marketing, web2.0 productivity at 4:14 pm by ethan

Are you a small & mid-sized business looking at expanding your sales by selling online but don’t know where to start?

Look no further! Subscribe to our E-commerce SME Plan and Learn from our Google Adword Professional (Hmmm…it’s me, sorry for hard selling) on the fastest way to kickstart your e-commerce marketing. This courses comes Free for SME that subscribes to our E-commerce Plan for SME, from just RM299 / month only.

Below is the full slide of our Google Adwords Kick Start Course! (It’s not a preview! It’s full slide! and NO, we are not insane!) Feel free to download  and share it.

Why do we do that? Well, there’s NO Secrets in the slide. In the end of the day – the testing, the execution, the creativity of your copywriting will determine whether you lose or win the Internet Marketing Battle (with the ultimate winner – Google, laugh all the way to the bank, of course)

Apart from Google Adwords,  we will also reveal more on other means of Internet Marketing to kickstart your stores. Below slide is barely scratching the surface. In our complex world, you need multi-channel traffic strategies to hit the jackpot!

10.08.08

Best Website Under-Construction Award

Posted in Online Marketing at 1:00 pm by adrianoh

This award (no prizes yet until we find sponsors) goes to http://www.bigappledonuts.com/.

If your website is not ready, would you put it on your packaging? It’s so creative, it blows me away.

Of course it’s not a recommended practice to have your website not ready while you already start your business and actively selling in the market. But again, hey, at least they are honest “up-to-the-box-level”. :)

Then we visit their website on 8 – 10 – 2008. Yeah. the website as it says on the box, still “under construction”.

Then you must be wondering what keep them so busy….

If you have business like this, of course you won’t have time to do a website lah! hmm…wait a second. how about an e-commerce website which can take donut order online? we wil be the first to order!

picture courtesy from http://blog.saimatkong.com/

06.17.08

Reasons ppl bought online…

Posted in E-commerce, Online Marketing at 12:05 am by finn

reasons people buy online


Find out why people buy online. Then give them a reason (or more) to buy from you.

56% said it’s because of “better price”

44% said it’s because of “convenience of shopping from home or office”

43% said it’s because of convenience of direct shipping

36% asid it’s because of “special deal or sale”

33% said it’s because of “faster shopping experience”

32% said it’s because of “better selection”

20% said it’s because of “no interaction with sales people” (2 out of 10 are shy!)

:) Happy selling online!

05.21.08

Google Qualified Advertising Professional

Posted in Google, Online Marketing at 5:30 pm by admin

Congratulation to Ethan Chong, our very main guy driving the Internet marketing efforts. He got himself a Google Qualified Advertising Professional, adding another credential under his belt.

As you know Google is an amazing database of intention – as people search, it’s an indication that you are researching for the subject or keywords and this is why Google can sell you ads alongside their organic search results.

Google Adwords is such a huge success that it contribute more than 80% of Google revenues alone. (This is why you are getting so much free services like Google App & Google Analytics from Google since the golden goose can easily finance all these “free” services).

Check out the presentation by Ethan,  titled “Top 5 mistakes Most People made in Running Google Adwords Campaign”, Have fun!

Google Qualified Advertising Professional

05.13.08

We are on paper!

Posted in E-commerce, Entrepreneurship, Events, Online Marketing at 12:19 pm by admin

adrian oh, ethan chong

This is part of short media interview conducted for the MIRC E-SME Week we are taking part as the speakers. We will speak on topics like “Driving Traffic to Your Online Stores”, “Top 5 Mistakes for Google Adwords” and “All you need to know about Online Payment Gateways (M’sia Merchants)”.

Do come join us if you would like to know more about the topics. It’s free admission as this is regular community events held by MIRC to boost up SME competitiveness.

Read more: Many e-commerce tools readily available for SMEs to boost profits

03.26.08

Top 10 ways to build Trust for your Online Store

Posted in E-commerce, Entrepreneurship, Online Marketing, Payment Gateway at 1:21 pm by adrianoh

Like Human Relationship, E-commerce is all about Trust

Building Trust for your e-commerce store

1. Building Trust via Web Design

First impression counts. It’s not a must for your online store to look pretty or stunning, however, it’s important that your design, layout, color tone etc tailored to the taste and expectation of your targeted group of online shoppers.

If you sell all sorts of products without a specific niche, you might want to adopt a simple & clean design to suit a broad base of taste. But if you sell baby or kids products, then you bet your site must appear to be cute and liked by all the young parents esp mothers! Remember, your design communicates trust subconsciously to the online shoppers! Make sure all products details are easily searched and accessible too.

2. Sign-up for Payment Services that Your Customers Trust

Online shoppers are intolerant with risk, if they have a single doubt about the security of the payment gateway you are using to process their credit card details, I can assure you that you will lose them as a customers almost instantly as your competitors are always a click away.

Bottom line, sign up a trusted online payment system widely recognized by your targeted customers. If you are selling Internationally, use something that’s recognized worldwide, eg PayPal or Worldpay. If you are selling locally, use whatever services that is well known and trustworthy in that particular country – eg Maybank2u for Malaysia, eNETS for Singapore or Protx for UK.

Lastly, don’t forget to put up related payment gateway logo on your website! Click here to download high quality Visa, Mastercard, Amex Logos to place on your store (Use it only if your payment gateway supports it).

3. Get Testimonials from your Happy Customers

Nothing beats genuine testimonials from your happy customers! What others say about you once is ten times more powerful and convincing than what you said about yourself a hundred times. That’s a true reflection of the power of Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing which you can apply to your e-commerce store.

So, grab some testimonial from your happy clients. Best if can get permission to publish their photo (together with your products if possible).

Customer Testimonial - Don’t overdo it!

4. Blog Your Way to the Top

Blog is probably one of the most interesting creation of the web. It’s a tool letting you share your thoughts or knowledge the informal way. It lets you connect with your customers or prospects and letting them having a peep at your wacky personality so they don’t need to hire paparazzi to hunt you down.

Why blog?

1) Dell also blog (ok..this probably is not really a good reason)
2) Expert always command trust and respect. It will help you to establish yourself as one of the perceived expert in your niche (works only if you share serious content and insights. no BS please)
3) Openly communicate with customers or prospects
4) Adding personal, human-touch into your store, telling them there are real people behind the website!
5) Good side effect – GYM loves blog so much that they will index your content almost instantly if you blog constantly with genuine content.

So, start blogging now! Take a look at how one of our customer – scrap-n-crop.com did it!

5. Buy a 3rd Party Trust Mark for your Online Store

The reality is, most people don’t feel completely safe when buying online, especially when buying from small and medium-sized merchants that lack a strong and widely recognized brand, like Walmart or Amazon.com.

Let’s take a look at the stats, 93% of U.S. online shoppers say it is important for an ecommerce site to include a trust mark of some kind on their site. In addition, three-quarters of online shoppers will only make purchases through sites that include a trust mark. Online consumers now are more security savvy than ever, they look for 3rd party logo, persuasive indicator telling them your store can be trusted. You want their business? Then get a trust mark for your store. Below are some of the options available:

6. May I know what’s your Business Policy?

When it comes to online purchase, customers have a lot of questions in mind – Is it safe to purchase from you? When will the goods arrive? Do you provide guarantee on that particular product? Is their data guarded securely? Without any of the information, how can you expect them to confidently press the “Add to Cart�? and “Checkout�? buttons? Below are some of the “must have” contents for your store.

  • About Us Page – Who’s behind the team? What’s your business philosophy? What story you have to tell?
  • Security & Privacy Policy – How do i know you are not going to sell my information to make extra cash?
  • Shipping Policy – Do you ship to my country?
  • Return & Refund Policy (if any) – Can I refund my goods if i’m not happy with the products within 30 days?
  • FAQs – Anything (almost) your online shoppers would want to know or probably will ask.
  • Contact Details – Where are you physically located? Can we get in touch with you since International call nowadays are so darn cheap thanks to VOIP technology. Tips: Put your phone number in International Dialing format if you serve International Market, and of course don’t forget to provide your time zone, you don’t want people calling you when you are having a sweat dream..

By putting all these details and making it easily accessible, you are helping the customer to help yourself, apart from trust it communicates, it saves you money and tremendous time in handling customer enquiry, it’s definitely a win-win situation.

7. Get your store listed on high quality, human-reviewed directory
Getting your e-commerce store listed in high quality, human-reviewed directory (not spammy link sites) is another good way to boost confident of online shoppers in your business. People trust the directory, and they trust the websites that has gone through the stringent review process and placed in the related categories.

Some of the directories worth considering are Yahoo Directory, Botw.org, Business.com and Open Directory.

8. Build Quality Store that confronts to GYM webmaster guidelines
Google Yahoo MSN Get FoundSearch Engines likes high quality websites that provide Quality and Unique Contents, same rules apply to e-commerce store. GYM (stands for Google, Yahoo, MSN – the big 3 Godzillas of search) have a set of quality guideline for website. Just follow the guidelines when it comes to preparing contents for your products or your online marketing efforst (eg link building, we will cover more in future articles) for your store.

Do it right, search engines will drive Free, Organic and Highly Targeted traffic (as they are searching for keywords related to your products) to your online stores which could mean extra leads and extra profit.

9. Always Show your visitors your Address and Contact Details

It’s amazing how many online stores don’t list their postal addresses and contacts. Ask yourself, would you even bother to buy from one website which you cannot locate the contact details? What if something goes wrong? If your customers don’t know who you are and where you live they might refrain from doing business with you. Don’t waste their time guessing – Give them the assurance they can trust you, show them where you live and how you can be contacted.

Take a look at our contact us page – We even show you how to get to our office using nice Google Map mashup. Click below to enlarge.

Location Map - Cheras Business Centre

Tips: If you are US Merchants, do you know you can submit your business contact details and get listed for Free? Check out

10. Always reply email PROMPTLY!

You will be surprised how companies treat email. My own experience, I contacted 5 vendors (all with websites & emails, obtained from yellowpages) for a price quote on the banner stands we are buying for exhibition purpose, guess what, only 1 bother taking time to reply, and of course they get our business. The other 4 we never heard of them until today.

Email is an important tool and we need to use it wisely, especially for e-commerce business as we use email extensively (from purchase confirmation until the email newsletter) to communicate with the customers. The speed of you responding to the customer matters, don’t forget to remind them to put your email (eg yourstore.com) in their email whitelist (approved list) so your email won’t accidentally blocked by SPAM filter.

Remember, how fast you reply genuine customer email (if you ever reply at all) makes a huge different on how “trustworthy” you are.

Summary
To sum it up, Trust is the most important thing when it comes to selling online. Trust is no doubt challenging & time consuming to build, you need to take a long term investment view and approach. Once the trust is built, it will lead to customer loyalty that generate more referral business and repeat purchase for you!

Start doing it now, show your visitors that your business is real and that they can trust you by using the tips above. Happy Selling Online!

12.10.07

US Top 50 Favorite Online Store

Posted in E-commerce, Online Marketing at 4:23 pm by admin

So who’s US consumers’ favorite top 50 online store and what did they do best? based on the latest survey by Shop.org, they top dog is nonetheless but the the king of e-commerce – Amazon.com, go through the list one by one. there’s something to learn from for every website.

US Top 50 Favorite Online Store

1. Amazon.com - Seattle – Category, General Merchandise
Making a career of defying skeptics, Jeff Bezos’ multi-billion dollar company sells everything from toothpaste to tomatoes.

2 eBay.comSan Jose, California, Auction
While execs work to reignite growth, quarterly profits climb thanks to the rise of PayPal and items like the iPhone.

3 Wal-Mart.comBentonville, Arkansas, General Merchandise
Joining the social-networking scene, customer reviews debut; site to store program picks up steam. Read Sam Walton’s (Walmart Founder) Success Principle.

Read the rest of this entry »

10.11.07

Selling to the World?

Posted in Online Marketing at 10:39 am by admin

World Internet Population - A brief statistic

Most e-commerce merchants are ambitious (that’s what make them entrepreneurs, so it’s perfectly normal). When they start selling online, they are driven to define “the whole world” as their targeted markets, the question is, how well do you actually know about the other part of the world? it’s so darn huge!

  • Do you know about the online population there? Where they surf?
  • Broadband penetration rate?
  • What do they do online?
  • What social website is the most popular?
    (Eg Malaysians are obsessed with Friendster (reportedly have more than 3.1 Millions users); But unlike Aseans, Koreans know NO Friendster, they use only Cyworld; while US teenagers just love myspace.)
  • What’s the most popular payment methods that’s highly recognizable (also means trust worthy) in their country? Currency Type? Biggest bank?

Let’s not drag too far, how about lets start with the Internet population of “the world”? Not a clue, tips: click the below link where Business 2.0 got an interesting Map giving you an overview of the World Internet Population.

10.03.07

E-commerce will influence offline sales

Posted in E-commerce, Online Marketing at 10:08 am by adrianoh

Retail E-Commerce (US) Eyes Retention – An interview with Mr. Scott Silverman, executive director of Washington-based online retail lobby Shop.org

Mr. Silverman’s Highlights

1) E-commerce in 2007 will be more than 9% of total retail, which is up from less than 3% in 2001. Additionally, the Internet continues to influence sales in offline channels, strengthening traditional store brands as well as catalogers.

2) People are feeling more comfortable shopping online and using the Internet to research, compare prices and shop.

3) No matter how much retailers preach the safety of shopping online, there will continue to be a segment of the customer base that does not feel comfortable using a credit card to pay for online purchases. Retailers are responding by investing in alternative payment systems like Bill Me Later, PayPal and Google Checkout.

US adult credit card security concern percentage

4) Retailers on- and offline are certainly feeling the impact of the customer empowerment created by social media (think myspace, think facebook, think friendster).

5) One of the interesting findings in the Shop.org-Forrester Research “2007 State of Retailing Online Part 2″ report, released in September, is that e-mails emphasizing new products outperform e-mails promoting sales.

6) Enhanced product detail, whether its through customer reviews, rich Internet applications or other methods. Customers see the Internet as a source of information and retailers need to meet this expectation.

Grab the full interview here
http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?id=1005442

09.20.07

Malaysia e-commerce dotcoms’ journeys

Posted in E-commerce, Entrepreneurship, Online Marketing at 11:11 pm by adrianoh

xl-shop - rodney koh - malaysia ecommerce dotcom journey

Thestar Intech - Malaysia E-commerce Journey - page 1 Thestar Intech - Malaysia E-commerce Journey - page 2 Thestar Intech - Malaysia E-commerce Journey - page 3

update: finally thestar had the e-commerce article uploaded online.

A very good article by Thestar’s Intech today on the local e-commerce scene. (At the time of this posting, this article is yet to be uploaded on thestar.com.my, talking about internet speed…) They interviewed the early Malaysia dotcomers on what it takes to run a successful e-commece store, these are all real tips – no hype, no BS, and definitely no MLM.

Below are some highlights from the REAL Internet Entrepreneurs – Be inspired!

Martin Cheah – Founder, Blooming.com.my

- MEPS & Internet Banking help create a more fertile ground for local e-commerce companies to grow.
- The e-commerce business model was extremely competitive, since anyone can do it, so we had to bring something unique to the picture. In this almost zero-entry barrier business, the real fight occurs in the mind of consumers – who the consumers think about when they want something.
- We invested a lot in creating awareness, especially in areas of brand association and “Top of the Mind” recall.
- Blooming.com.my currently receives hundreds of orders a day through its website, can go up to many thousands during peak festive seasons such as Valentine’s Day.

Unique problem - Faces biggest challenges when it comes to packaging and transporting its products as its main product, flowers, need to be kept refrigerated to maintain freshness.

Donald Kee – GM, Corporate Affair, MPHonline.com

- Local budget airline AirAsia also contributed to the increase in e-commerce when it began offering cheap flight tickets online.
- We don’t want to be just another e-commerce site in Malaysia, there’s not enough sales to sustain here, so we are planning to go global.
- Rather than compete with Amazon.com to sell Western publications, we want to position MPHonline.com as the place to go to for Asian titles.
- MPHonline.com currently has a million page views and around 200,000 unique visitors a month.

Unique problem - Faces a challenge in getting Malaysians excited enough about buying books, as Malaysia book industry grows slowly due to the lack of a strong reading culture.

Rodney Koh, Creative Director, xl-shop.com

- Started in the year 2000, dreaming of selling action figures to people in remote areas.
- The very first order comes from British.
- The presentation (web design) of a website is very important as it is the first and perhaps only impression a customer has of an e-commerce company.
- Sometimes customers will test you by sending e-mails to see how fast you respond.
- We never expected our website to generate tens of thousands in online sales, which is similar to one of our smaller physical retail shops, and the operating fee of the website for the entire year costs less than on month’s rent for the shop.

Unique problem - Unlike hong kong and singapore, toys imports are taxed in Malaysia thus disadvantageous in terms of price.

Summary

Notice one similarity? All of them are (except Lelong, started up as an online marketplace) actually brick & mortar stores with an online e-commerce as extra channel for growth. Selling online is all about TRUST! A real-world physical store normally can easier earn trust from the online buyers instead of a pure-play online (consider all else equal).

Bottomline is, it takes great effort to make a business successful, regardless of it being offline or online. The basic principles to run a successful business has not changed and will not change in thousand year to come.

Here’s a recap of the 6 emerging trends that we think that will shape the e-commerce future in Malaysia, and why every business should have an e-commerce strategy in place to stay competitive, and relevant in the near future marketplace.

1) Consumers are much more comfortable purchasing online, starting with the most common items like flight tickets (thanks to cheap airflights available from AirAsia.com).

2) People already buying things like clothes, toys, gadgets (on top of books) online, probably not from you nor your next door competitors, but from retailers thousand of miles away that’s selling on ebay or their online stores.

3) Young professionals with high spending power growing up with Internet (Think Blogging, Think Online Gaming, Think Social Networking) has entered the workforce market.

4) More people adopting e-banking, with Maybank itself already cloaking more than 2 Million registered users.

5) TMNET, with 650,000 Streamyx broadband account and adding up fast that will breach 1 Million latest by 2007.

6) Hardware, Software and Payment Technology that merchant needs to sell online, is far more affordable with significant improvement in quality and usability.

To sum it all up, as the number of broadband users grow, and people getting more and more Internet dependent (can imagine living a day without it?) – The future of e-commerce in bright. It will be an important channel where people play, work and of course, SHOP. So what are you waiting for?

Start selling online today with webShaper e-commerce

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