Spring and Summer Holidays and Occasions

We are now into one of the busiest times of the year… weddings, graduations, mother’s day, proms. The Promo Manager is one of our systems that will allow you to run a virtually unlimited amount of promotions of all types. Don’t miss out on promoting your business at this time of year.

Posted in Holiday Planning by Robin. No Comments

Facebook Timeline for Business Pages

Are you one of the lovers or haters of Facebook Timeline?

Personally, I think it is an improvement. I was never crazy about the landing pages that businesses would create in order to get you to “like” them, and with the Timeline feature, that is gone.

But, that isn’t the only reason I think it is superior.

>The Cover Photo is more striking and gives you a great opportunity to make an impact on visitors and fans.

>The ability to Pin posts to the top of the Timeline is extremely helpful for marketers. Any important announcement or event can be pinned to the top where it is one of the first things visitors will see and it will stay there until you unpin it.

>Similar to pinning, you have the option of Highlighting posts too. Visitors can choose how they want to browse through your content by selecting different viewing options, one of which is to view the highlighted content first.

>The new timeline feature also allows you to set Milestones, which businesses can use to share company history and build a connection with your fans.

Like it or not, the change to Facebook business pages is an opportunity to expand and develop a deeper connection with your fan base. What you do with it is up to you.

-View Source

On a side note, this will be my last post for the KingWebmaster Blog. It has been a pleasure and I wish the best of luck to you all! Emily

New Look for PromoManager.com!

Please, take a moment to head over to PromoManager.com to check out the design.

Not familiar with the Promo Manager?

The Promo Manager is one of KingWebmaster’s web-based systems that allows Yahoo! Stores to create and execute a wide range of promotions that are only possible by using the Promo Manager.

You create promotions based on:

>Cart Contents

>Cart Value

>Coupon Codes

>Shipping Address

>No Condition – always give reward

>Scheduled Time

Click here for the full list of Promo Manager features.

Centrifuge Webinar Today – 2 PM ET

Join us today at 2 PM ET to learn how the Centrifuge Inventory System can revolutionize the way you manage inventory in your Yahoo! Store. Centrifuge is fully web-based so you can easily monitor and maintain stock levels from anywhere and on any device.

This all in one system simplifies complex inventory scenarios with features such as:

>Real-time stock status on item pages.

>Real-time stock status from suppliers, vendors and dropshippers.

>Real-time stock status in item pages.

>Multi-warehouse item support.

>Automated back-in-stock notification emails.

And much more!

Centrifuge Inventory System Webinar – Register Today!

Join us on Thursday, March 29th at 2 PM ET for the Centrifuge Inventory System webinar, click here to register now.

Learn how precise inventory management can streamline your e-commerce business to save you valuable time and money.

Fully web based, nothing to install – Centrifuge gives you the freedom to monitor and control stock levels from a centralized control panel from anywhere in the world while eliminating the need to install software.

Take control of inventory link never before with time and cost saving features like:

>Display real-time stock status in item pages – Real-time stock status is a must for your customers.  Any doubt they have about whether an item is in stock or not will send them straight to another merchant where they will be sure their item is available and ready to ship. Real-time stock status also saves you precious customer service hours and reduces order cancelations due to out of stock items.

>Real-time stock status from suppliers – Keeping track of supplier’s stock levels is a breeze with Centrifuge. Stock levels from your suppliers are transmitted through our system and connected directly with your control panel allowing your customers to see, in real-time, what’s happening with the stock.

>Real-time stock status from 3rd party inventory systems – Centrifuge acts as a centralized hub where stock level data is accurately transferred between your Yahoo! Store and 3rd party order inventory systems like Stone Edge, Order Motion, The Super Manager, 4Psite Link and M.O.M.

>Support for multiple warehouse items – Easily track stock levels for products that you stock at multiple locations.

>Back-in-stock notifications - Centrifuge helps you recover lost sales due to out of stock items by giving customers the option to choose whether they want to receive an email when the item the want is back is back in stock. If that item is discontinued; you have the ability to suggest a similar item.

>Holding cost and stock level reports – The reporting feature quickly shows you how much you have invested in your stock and what your inventory levels are.

View the full list of features at CentrifugeConnect.com.

Sign up for the introductory webinar on Thursday, March 29th at 2 PM ET by clicking here.

Save Sales Lost to Inventory Deficiencies

Back in stock notifications can play a pivotal role for e-commerce retailers hoping to recapture sales lost due to stock deficiencies, but just how effective are they?

Marketing Sherpa profiled BirkenstockCentral.com and revealed the amazing returns they experienced as a result of implementing back in stock notifications. The PSNE Group owns the online only retailer BirkenstockCentral.com.

They do not utilize dropshippers and instead choose to warehouse all of their products. While this can simplify the order fulfillment process, it also means that with all of the different options available, they can run out of stock from time to time.

Birkenstock Central wanted to keep shoppers trying to purchase out of stock products  from buying elsewhere and they decided to pair a real-time inventory system with an automated out-of-stock email notification system.

Utilizing real-time inventory, out of stock products would have the text “Temporarily out of stock” in bold red text and in red highlighted text, “Notify me when this size is in stock”.  Shoppers are able to either enter purchase information right then or enter their email address to receive a back in stock notification. Each evening, Birkenstock Central’s system scans the inventory to check for back in stock items and automatically sends notification emails to customer. The email contains a link to the shopping cart with the item automatically loaded into the checkout page.

To avoid a run on the same product twice, they never send out more notifications than the number of products they receive and the emails are sent out in the order the requests were received. Even though this approach greatly reduces the chance a customer returns to purchase the previously out of stock item and it is already sold out, it does happen. In those rare instances, they simply apologize to the customer ask if they would like to be place back on the notification list.

Within a 30 day period this approach resulted in a 36.5% open rate, 35% read rate (open for at least 5 seconds), a 26% click through rate and a 25% conversion rate. Overall, the program delivers a 22.45% conversion rate.

Back in stock notifications are just one of the many features of the Centrifuge Inventory Management system, to learn how to take control of your inventory and recapture lost sales, click here.

Yahoo! Summit 2012

It’s almost that time of year again – Yahoo! Merchant Summit time! The dates have been announced and the 4th annual Merchant Summit will be held in Santa Clara, CA on August 7th and 8th. Last year’s event was a sell out; you will want to be sure to register early. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet-up with fellow Yahoo! Merchants and developers, including KingWebmaster.

The Merchant Summit will be held at the Marriott in Santa Clara with registration details to be released soon. You can check the Yahoo! Store blog for the latest details.

On a related note, the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition will be held in Chicago from June 5-8. The Yahoo! Small business booth is #1301, be sure to stop by to say hi. They will also be hosting an invitation only cocktail party for customers and partners on Thursday the 7th. Invitations will be coming soon.

Pinterest and E-commerce

One of the hottest discussions to surface this year is how the social pin-boarding site Pinterest will influence e-commerce. So far, it is growing by leaps and bounds, and in January drove more referral traffic than Google+, Reddit, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. Pinterest is on track to overtake Twitter and Google to slide into the number three spot right behind Stumble Upon (2) and Facebook (1) for sites responsible for the most referral traffic.

If you haven’t had the chance to introduce yourself to the online pin boarding site, click here to read my step-by-step guide to creating a profile.

So how exactly can you as a small business owner use Pinterest to drive traffic to your e-commerce site? Take some cues from a few of the businesses who have gotten a jump start on the platform to see how they are using the site.

Cost Plus World Market creates holiday and event based Pinboards.


Gadgets and Gear organizes their Pinboards by product type and theme.

Fiskars USA profile shows how their products can be use for a range of projects.

TieMart had an event and color theme for their Pinboards.

Ann Taylor takes a seasonal and event approach for their Pinboards.

Pinterest users tend to be more discriminating; they are curating their own unique online experience for future use and inspiration. As a result, e-commerce merchants using this emerging platform have to be careful they don’t go in for the hard sell and risk alienating users. High quality content and useful information is the name of the game on Pinterest.

In the Nick of Time, the Steal a Deal Case Study

Sports Unlimited is no slouch when it comes to sales and promotions. They always seem to be one step ahead of the competition when it comes to showcasing their discounted and promotional items.  They have had much success with their “Promo Zone” which is a page devoted to all their discounted products and powered by KingWebmaster. When they decided that the Promo Zone wasn’t enough, they worked with Dan from KingWebmaster to develop this unique module which is now available to all Yahoo! Store owners.

What it does: Steal a Deal is a completely automated module that slashes prices on already discounted items based on the number of unique visitors to that product within a given time and continues to reduce the price until time runs out.

How it does it: Only products that have already been discounted are eligible for Steal a Deal. The merchant is able to determine what the discount percentage requirement is and how much lower to allow the discount to go. The Steal a Deal system tracks the number of unique visitors over the course of a set amount of time and once the number of visitors reaches the pre-determined level set by the merchant, the discount percentage is lowered. This continues until either the product is purchased, or until the clock runs out, whichever happens first.

Why it works: Steal a Deal creates a sense of urgency for shoppers by incrementally reducing the price on a single quantity item over a limited amount of time. This approach can be more effective than a traditional sale and help you reduce and eliminate old and overstocked product.  Because all the values used are variables, users are able to test different values for optimal conversion rates.

The homepage features a dropdown that features four of the current deals and links to the Steal a Deal page which Sports Unlimited calls Buzzer Beater Deals.

Close up of the dropdown.

The Buzzer Beater Deals page displays all of the available deals along with the current price, percentage of discount and current time on the clock.

Buzzer Beater Deals product page with price and countdown clock.

This approach to promotions benefits the merchant and the consumer. The merchant is able to dictate what products to offer and how low they want to go while the running clock motivates the shopper to complete the purchase. To learn more about how this module works, click here.

Adventures in Shopping

Have you run into a brick wall when it comes to growing your Facebook fan base? This week as I completed a purchase at Hayneedle, I encountered a great way to for e-commerce merchants to use the checkout process to get more Facebook fans.

Right after completing my order that I was really excited about because I got a fantastic price, this little pop-up appeared:

Yes, I had enjoyed shopping with them! How did they know?

Presenting a shopper with the option to “Like” your brand immediate after a purchase is a great idea. Try adding an incentive by offering a discount on their next purchase for “liking” your store to really encourage them.

Another nice surprise I had was related to shipping. They have a shipping method populator with delivery estimate and my estimated delivery date was Wednesday the 15th. Yesterday I got the shipping confirmation with the tracking number and the delivery date is now scheduled for Saturday the 11th! Am I happy? Yes! I’m such a satisfied customer that I’m sharing the story with you and I haven’t even received the order yet – the only thing better than your order being delivered on the scheduled date is getting your order before the scheduled date.

I know that the big companies may have more resources and the smaller stores, but that doesn’t mean than you can’t take some cues from them to stay competitive.