18 Things E-Commerce Websites Must Get Right

For e-commerce businesses, getting the website right is even more important than for other businesses because the website is more than a marketing tool — it’s part of the offering. Here are 18 things not all e-commerce websites get right.

1. Give me a reason to register even if I don’t want to buy right now.

Discount coupon for first purchase? First delivery free if I register by x date? Give me some reason to fill up that registration form when I come to you the first time. Else there is a high chance that if I don’t like anything in the first visit, I will never come back. If I don’t register, you wouldn’t even know I came by!Myntra - Signup and get coupons worth Rs. 1000

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Marketing Reading, But Not Just for the Weekend

I couldn’t find any recent blog posts or articles I loved and wanted to share with you, so I thought I’d share my favorite marketing and business books.

Marketing books

I could only photograph three of the books, since the fourth’s lent out to our hacker

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How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool

Update: Google launched the Keyword Planner which will replace the Keyword Tool. Read about it here.

Have you ever used the Google Keyword Tool? No? Then go on reading and make sure you use it today. You can use this easy (and free!) tool for a number of things:

  • As part of your market research to understand how many people search for a certain product or service online.
  • When they search for the product or service you offer, what words do they use?
  • What keywords are you using most prominently in your website?
  • What keywords your competitor (or any other company) is using most prominently on its website?

How do you do all that? Let’s take a quick look.

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Small Business Marketing: Interview with Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends

Anita Campbell of Small Business TrendsAnita Campbell is the Founder and CEO of Small Business Trends, a popular U.S.-based site for small business advice. Small Business Trends has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and the New York Times, and Anita herself is a popular writer and speaker and is on several advisory boards. She talks to us about content creation, content monetization, and entrepreneurship.

My questions and comments are in bold.

Tell us a bit about Small Business Trends – I read you started it as a version of an email newsletter? Who was your first audience? Continue reading

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Website and Social Media

Do people really think content marketers don’t care about sales? This and other myths here.

Outspoken Media has an easy, excellent guide to link-building in 15 minutes a day.

And here are a few quick ways to improve your website’s usability.

If you aren’t using photos on Facebook yet, here’s more evidence to convince you: photos get 53% more likes.

Here’s another blog post laying out why LinkedIn’s Endorsement feature is awful.

Have a great weekend, and make your marketing better next week!

Why You Shouldn’t Use Social Media

Does every business have to be on social media?

I’ve heard the arguments: it’s too risky, it’s not profitable or measurable… It’s not necessary for your industry. None of these is usually true.

Today, I tell you the real reasons why you shouldn’t be on social media.

You don’t want to listen

Contrary to what most people think, social media is primarily about listening. It enables you to listen to what your customers or even competitors are saying about you. It lets you view conversations about your industry or your competitors. It tells you what people are thinking.

If you’re not interested in any of that, sure, stay off social media. (And don’t talk to your customers, either.)

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Do This Now

This week’s reads are all about tips you should start following right away or mistakes you need to avoid. Get on these right away so you don’t lose opportunities!

This is something we have found too: everyone wants to help you. As usual, Joel Gascoigne dispenses excellent and inspiring advice to entrepreneurs.

The KISSmetrics blog lays out seven critical errors made by e-commerce websites. Make sure you’re not making any!

Are you optimizing your images for search? If not, start now!

A study of smartphone and tablet users in the U.S. found some interesting results with regard to mobile searches for restaurants:

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Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Diwali is next week. Did you send out special offers or greetings to your customers and prospects?

While everyone is talking about social media, email marketing remains an excellent way of nurturing your prospects and customers. In this post, I look at some common mistakes marketers make in email campaigns, through a few Diwali-themed marketing emails I received.

Wasting the Subject Line

Here is a screenshot of some Diwali offers in my inbox.

Diwali Emails as Seen in Gmail

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Marketing to Women: Interview with Aparna Vedapuri Singh of Women’s Web

Aparna Vedapuri Singh is the Founder and Editor of Women’s Web, an online magazine for Indian women. (Full disclosure: I’ve known Aparna for years and I write a career column and the occasional book review for Women’s Web.)

Read on for Aparna’s experiences in and tips for entrepreneurship and marketing! (My comments and questions are in bold.)

Aparna Vedapuri Singh, the Founder and Editor of Women's Web

Picture credit: Bilat Singh Thongram

Tell us about Women’s Web – how did you come up with the idea for the site?

Women’s Web is a product that came about as a result of a need I felt existed in the market – and as with many entrepreneurs, beginning with a need I felt myself!

While women’s magazines are certainly not a new phenomenon in India, increasingly, there is such a sameness to them. Many women are interested in beauty, but why should the pursuit of beauty define us? Really, is better skin and anti-ageing all that there is to our lives? I wanted to read something better! I felt that there is a niche in the market for interesting, useful information and reads, directly relevant to our lives.

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Marketing Lessons from a Professional Photographer

We recently talked to a professional photographer who is also a friend, about his marketing needs and challenges. Meeting Mehul brought home one of the biggest reasons why we wanted to dive into consulting with small business owners: there is so much we can learn from them.

Here are some of the marketing lessons we — and maybe you as well — can learn from Mehul.

Indian wedding photography: grains of rice

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Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

Two weeks ago, I spoke to the moderators of a local business community, Pune Open Coffee Club, and as a result of that discussion, Better Marketing started a new initiative:

Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

We’re offering free consulting services to start-ups in Pune. Every Thursday, we sit at a local cafe and meet at least one entrepreneur. We talk for a couple of hours about their business and help them map out a marketing strategy or suggest things they could improve.

We started last week and met two businesses – and we received so many inquiries that we’re booked up through December!

This is the process we are following:

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Spotlight: Congress’s Online Marketing Campaign for Gujarat Elections 2012

Gujarat (which is where I grew up, by the way) will have its assembly elections next month. I am no longer a registered voter there, but out of curiosity, I clicked on a banner ad for one of the political parties.

I am not going to talk politics here, but let’s look at how well they’ve executed this marketing campaign. Below are my tweets and comments about this campaign by the Indian National Congress, which is currently the main opposition party in Gujarat.

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Improve Your Customers’ Experience

Serve up a complete experience to your customers

Do you know how many of your visitors are using phones and tablets to view your website or app? Is your website or application optimized for mobile?

This article has web design best practices that you should be aware of: it focuses on the iPad Mini, but most of this is relevant for any mobile device.

And Rand Fishkin explains why every company should have a marketing-focused web development team.

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Integrated Marketing Lessons from NH7 and Only Much Louder

Music in India has been mostly dominated by mainstream film music (Bollywood!) but in the last few years non-film music has acquired its own space and a lot of credit goes to Only Much Louder and NH7 for that. I’m impressed by how OML has created a powerful brand in NH7 through integrated marketing.

Personally, I am a big fan of NH7 and the NH7 Weekender music festival, so some level of  bias is expected :-). And on the other hand it also speaks to the effectiveness of their marketing and quality of their service and products — that is, music events. Let’s look at the website first.

First things first: The website

NH7-Website-Radio-At-The-Top

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