An ancient Greek philosopher said, "The only constant is change." That's especially true in this most changeable of fields, online retailing. For example, email use is down 59 percent among teens, and only those 55 years old and up actually increased their use of email, according to research firm comScore. What's more, in the most recent quarter, more smartphones were sold than actual personal computers, the first time that PCs have been edged out by the newest cell phone products, says Fortune Tech, part of the CNN Money site. For electronic retailers and wholesalers who earn their daily bread when grown-ups sit in front of monitors and click on "Buy Now" buttons with their computer mice, a world of texting teens who use Facebook instead of Yahoo Mail may seem like a threat to their business model.
However, according to Armando Roggio of PracticalECommerce.com, electronic retailers who overreact, and overspend, are doing themselves no favors. He lists four ways to avoid wasting money on your online storefront, urging common sense, not profligate spending. One, don't overspend on custom development. Start-ups should use cheap and free solutions that can be customized by themes. Two, don't pay for SEO experts or tools. There are plenty of free sites (including his, he points out) offering tons of advice. Three, keep traffic analysis costs to no more than five percent of the marketing budget. Google Analytics is excellent and free. Four, focus on social media, like Facebook, and content marketing, like blogs, over pay-per-click advertising, which is expensive and gives short term traffic boosts, rather than long term gains.
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