Friday, August 29, 2014

Don't Shun Your eCommerce Website For An Online Marketplace

Deciding how to sell online becomes more difficult than deciding what to sell online. There are multiple options available that tend to confuse a newbie in the online business. An online marketplace (or online e-commerce marketplace) is a type of e-commerce site where product and inventory information is provided by multiple third parties, whereas transactions are processed by themarketplace operator.

Examples of online marketplaces are eBay, Snapdeal, Flipkart, and Amazon

Lately I have observed that many people after working on their eCommerce sites soon lose patience and start focusing on online marketing places and neglect their own eCommerce websites.

No doubt online marketplace is a much easier way of setting up an online store, you don't need any technical assistance, you don't have to brainstorm about the design and you don't have to bother about sales transactions; basically everything is spoon fed. All you need to do is list your products, receive traffic without much effort and pay a commission or fee to your marketplace. A very tempting and convenient 'short cut' to selling online.

This according to me is taking the shortcut to online success which in the long run may not be beneficial, as instead of working on your website you rent out a space to showcase your goods to win the online race. I correlate this to the story of the “Hare And The Tortoise” where the hare plans to take a nap as it thought that the tortoise is too slow and will be able to manage to cross the finish line and win the race even at the last moment .

I think winning the online race is not only about how much profit you are making currently but also about establishing your brand and also about having an owned presence which in the long run proves to be a digital asset which has a potential of an increasing ROI.

Just focusing on the online marketing places is like constructing a building without a firm foundation.

But, yes to start off online and gain quality web and search presence to drive traffic to your website is a daunting task and requires regular investment of time and money, which many times make the website owners shift to already established online market places like Amazon and eBay. But we need to understand that these websites too had to go a long waiting period and a period of constant struggle and patience to reach where they are today.

When you opt for the already established online market or bidding sites you do gain an immediate presence and you may be in business from day one but on the other hand you lose out on establishing your own brand and website (Owned Presence) which you may need to fall back on if your presence on the other rented sites gets adversely affected. This can happen due to various reasons like, fluctuations in the market, the market site losing popularity, gets adversely affected by the Google algorithm updates and loses search presence, etc.

The best option I think is the optimum utilization of resources to establish a presence on both the platforms. Establishing your own eCommerce site and having a presence on the online market sites are equally important. Else it is like having a good presence at the real time exhibitions and conferences but not having your own shop or office. Online marketplaces, are a great way of understanding how e-commerce works. But if you want your business to flourish as per your rules, with a brand identity and with long term plans, then there is no other way than having your own website.

In general, because marketplaces aggregate products from a wide array of providers, selection is usually more wide, availability is higher, and prices are more competitive than in vendor-specific online retail stores. As many marketplaces cross-promote the items of other merchants along side of your items. In many cases, they even compare prices. Therefore, if your competitor is offering the same item at a lower price, they may end up making what was supposed to be your sale.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Patience And Perseverance Needed To Reach The Gold Layer Of Online Success

Avinash Kaushik needs no introduction if you belong to the internet marketing world. But if you are new to this world and yet to get an idea about the whos who of this industry then Avinash is the co-Founder of Market Motive and the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google. He has also authored Web Analytics 2.0 & Web Analytics: An Hour A Day .

I am simply in awe of the way he writes the detailed blog posts on his blog Occam's Razor, Digital Marketing & Analytics. The blog posts are detailed, in-depth and very informative. Infact a mini thesis on the topic he decides to write on.

Recently he shared the following on Google+ and I must say that it is so very relevant to the world of online marketing and an important point to ponder on .

In order to reach the online Gold layer online businesses sometimes use the owned presence sometimes the earned presence and at other times when the budgets are high even the paid presence is used. But, I have seen many times the business owners give up when they are very close to the Gold layer because by that time they lose patience and start doubting whatever their SEO experts and online marketing experts tell them.

But I think we should not forget the example of Amazon and eBay who got established in 1994 and 1995 respectively and faced losses for many years and now they have reached that layer which can be called the Gold Layer.

Either you are mining for deeper insights or you are aiming to reach the Gold layer to scale profits just keep going is the answer. Now when one reads the article published in 2005 on will get an idea about it.

In early 2000 creating and running an ecommerce site was the challenge because of the hardware and software constraints but today creating an ecommerce site is very easy and cost effective but to make it successful and establishing a long term brand is the challenge. The online success can be described as below.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Pigeon Algorithm And Local Search

There are many businesses which majorly cater to the local market and would like to focus on targeting the local traffic on the search engines. For such businesses even on organic search the search queries with a local intent are the priority for their search presence.

Google also takes local search very seriously and since a long time has been improving the quality of local search results in terms of display, listing management and also trying to measure the public opinion in terms of reviews for these listings.

The recent development being discussed is the Pigeon Algorithm (A name given by Search Engine Land after Google discussed about an upcoming algorithm for local search with Danny Sullivan)

The update has been pushed out to U.S. English based search results and the update impacts both the organic local listings within Google Map Search and Google Web Search.

SEL shared that Google has also informed Danny Sullivan that the new local search algorithm ties deeper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more. Furthermore, Google has not commented on the percent of queries impacted by this algorithm update, nor if certain web spam algorithms were deployed in this update.

The Pigeon algorithm And Local Search

The local search listings are majorly influenced by submitting details in Google places now known as ‘My Business’ which also creates a default local Google+ page when you add the address details and also updates it on Google Maps. Once verified by the owner the listing goes live and depending on the details submitted it gets co related to the service and the place where the business is located. Any business can claim such a listing even if they do not have a website.

Further this listing gets a boost when people (Customers and Clients) add genuine reviews and ratings logging in to their Google Accounts.

A business targeting local traffic must not only focus on local search but should also focus on search queries having a local intent. As in many countries the local search results are not displayed on Google search results and in such cases they can benefit by having a presence on organic search results as such long tail queries will be less competitive and the potential of getting better rankings will be higher and more targeted.