Archive for December, 2009
A perfect tool for frequent Facebook uploaders, for example, Shrink Pic works with a number of applications (most browsers, Outlook, Thunderbird, Skype, and MSN Messenger, to name just a few) to monitor when you upload, attach, or send pictures via IM. When you do, it automatically resizes the images in the background based on user-defined settings, then uploads the smaller image (so you don’t have to wait several minutes for an upload to complete just to have it severely compressed at its destination anyway). It can even resize multiple photos in the same upload. The speed at which it resizes and the quality of the compression are nothing to sneeze at, either.
“Shrink Pic saves the resized images in a temporary directory, so your originals are never touched—just copied. You can use any kind of compression level you want, as well as choose from 5 different photo types to check for. If you want to disable it, all you need to do is uncheck an option in your system tray—and re-enabling it is just as easy.”
Its that time of year again. The time where you will encounter top 10 lists, countdown lists, and the lists of resolutions you’ll need to make in the coming year. The truth is, there is no list that will help define what you should be doing in the coming year except one.
Resolve to doing something each and every day that brings you one step closer to your goal.
Its very simple. So many of us get caught up in the day to day hustle and bustle, that it takes something to jostle us out of the routine. This is when we see the countdown lists online or tv and say aloud “Gosh, New years already? Where has the past year gone? Its 2010 already?”
Truth is, we should all resolve to look at each day and treat it like its a gift, as if its the last one. Do you want to look back and see that the last 12 months of your life have been wasted?
These thoughts aren’t just reserved for the philosophical folks. They also apply to your online business and will allow you to keep your vision focused.
First, ask yourself the following questions.
- Where were you a year ago?
- Where are you now?
- What were you able to accomplish in the last year?
- What did you not accomplish?
- What do you wish to accomplish in the upcoming year?
As you sit there and try and think back on the past 365 days, imagine if you only had to do this for the last 30 days. As you can see, its a lot easier to lose focus when you’re only looking at the upcoming year. I suggest you look at the year in 12 monthly blocks. Planning ahead for the next month allows you to take stock of what you didn’t accomplish and adjust accordingly.
Create a 3 – 6 – and 12 month plan of where you’d like to be on a professional and personal level.
Each month, sit down and take a look at the best sellers not just in your store, but across your product line. A great place to see this information is Amazon.com. My personal recommendation is to do this on a weekly level. If you can see what people are buying up, then you know how to adjust your featured products and your marketing.
Each month, see what opportunities you missed and how you can correct this in the following month.
And above all else, appreciate the time you’ve been given and resolve to live each day to its fullest.
Happy New Year
Let me tell you a story about Bruno Bowden, who works at Google.
Bruno had noticed that many people who visit the “Download Google Earth” page never actually download, even though, as you can see, the button is pretty hard to miss:
He wondered if a significant number of users might have their browser windows too small to see the button:
To analyze this, Bruno looked at how large people’s browser windows were when they visited this page. His first key idea was to measure not the entire browser window, but just the client area — no toolbars, status bars, or other chrome.
Bruno’s second key idea was to render several weeks’ worth of page visitor browser sizes in a contour visualization:
Using this visualization, Bruno confirmed that about 10% of users couldn’t see the download button without scrolling, and thus never noticed it. 10% may not sound like a lot, but in this context it turns out to mean a significant number of people weren’t downloading Google Earth. Using this data, the team was able to redesign the page to good effect.
Although this story is about Google, just exchange the Download button for your Add To Cart button, and you can see how relevant this is. Check out how your online store appears to the world by going to http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/ and putting your URL in the box.
[ Introducting Google Browser Size - Google Code Blog]
We’ve been receiving cards and gifts all week from our clients. Including a 2 wonderful bushes of Oranges from Floridaorangeshop.com. We’re hoping that baconsalt.com can somehow come out with Bacon fruit soon. We here at the 3dCart office are dying to bite into a baconana.
Since we couldn’t find anyone in the office to lick thousands of envelopes, here is our card to you.
The online shopping season is in its home stretch. Soon you’ll be limited in your options because of shipping timetables, but have no fear! December 17th— is Free Shipping Day, in which roughly 700 online retailers are offering free shipping for any purchases, and delivery is guaranteed by the 24th.
To participate, just hit up the site on the 17th to get the appropriate coupon codes for the retailer you want to buy from.
In order to maintain our position as an award winning e-commerce solution we have always strive to offer the very best solutions and options to our customers. I am pleased to announce a partnership with TRUSTe and am very excited in what this means for our customers.
What does it mean? Let’s see what they have to say:
“TRUSTe Privacy Seals help consumers click with confidence by guiding them to trustworthy Web sites. Thousands of Web sites rely on TRUSTe industry best practices to help them make the right decisions about privacy and protecting confidential user information. Half of the top fifty Web sites are certified to TRUSTe’s leading practices including leading retailers, Apple, eBay, Cabela’s, Best Buy, Audible, LeapFrog, Microsoft and Yahoo!. To find out more about privacy, visit http://www.truste.com.”
By signing up and having this seal on your online store, you are going to gain the following benefits:
- TRUSTe Verified seal
- Free dispute resolution
- Ongoing privacy screening
- Increase in transactions
- Increase in sales
- Customer confidence & Loyalty
- Meets Google Adsense privacy requirements
- Boost Google keyword scores.
As you can see, anything that puts your store ahead of the pack is something worth checking into.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a personal assistant who focused on your online store’s analytics? You can, with Google’s Analytics Intelligence. It won’t be able to predict the future, but it can find key information for you so that you can focus on making strategic decisions, instead of sifting through an endless sea of data.
Part of my duties are to have my finger on the pulse of the social media landscape. Day in and day out, I see online stores using Twitter and failing miserably. In fact, you are driving away potential business!
I want to outline ways you can guarantee failure by using Twitter
1. Install a script that automatically updates Twitter when you add products to your store. This is GREAT! When I add items to my online store it will spam my Twitter. Customers will love it, especially when I add a ton of products!
Wrong! It’s fantastic to let customers know of new products in your store, but by using Twitter to spam each and every time you add a product, you are going to drive away any customer from following you on Twitter as well as alienate your Twitter feed and have it look totally useless.
The right way to do this is to practice good common sense. When you run a big promotion on a product, or get in stock something that is popular/has been sold out, then tweet about it. If you don’t have something to say about a product beyond “hey, I sell this!”. then don’t say it at all.
2. Install a script that automatically updates Twitter when customers add a product to their cart. Even better! Potential customers will see that others are adding products to their cart and feel inclined to check out my store and buy from me. Its like peer pressure marketing!
Wrong! Simply put, no one cares what other people are buying from you. When you go to Best Buy, do you make it a point to check out everyone’s shopping cart and then base your buying decision on what is in there? Of course you do not.
The right way to do this is to not install the script at all.
3. Post periodically throughout the day and only mention items I sell, in every post. Every Twitter post should be a chance to advertise my products. Why waste time typing up something if I’m not going to use it as an opportunity to hock my wares.
Wrong! Your Twitter is a chance for you to communicate with your customers and potential customers. How would you like it, if you walked into a store and started talking with an employee and his only response was “Here buy this!”. I imagine you would leave rather quickly. Once again, common sense should be your best friend here. Use your twitter to communicate, make friends, discuss your products and when its appropriate, post about something you sell.
4. Don’t bother posting anything of value. Simply retweet other posts, spam ads, or just post the same thing all the time. I’m busy, that would be great! If my online store has a Twitter, thats good enough to get the mystical Google juice, right? I heard I should have a Twitter account, and I do, so I’m good to go!
Wrong. Let me say that again, wrong! A lot of people hear an acronym here, a buzzword there and don’t bother doing the research into what it is. They hear they should have it, so they get it. This is going to hurt you in the long run because you and your online store will look like a train wreck when compared to the competition.
If you’re going to use Twitter, then use it appropriately. Its a way for you to communicate with your competitor’s clients, customers, and build a following. Here’s some things to remember:
- Use a program like Tweetdeck. Use the Search function to run search columns for your products, keywords, or competitors. Comment frequently to people that are posting, but only if you have something to say.
- Look at competitors. See how they are using Twitter to communicate with their customers.
- Before you post anything, read, look around, get to understand what Twitter is. If you don’t know what Twitter is, does, or how it can help your company, then you have no business having one.