Three Fresh, New Ways to Market Your Web Storefront

With the widespread proliferation of interactive marketing, some innovative new web channels have emerged for marketing your online store. This article describes three increasingly popular web-based marketing mediums that have outstanding potential to get your storefront the attention it deserves-regardless of your budget.

    Comparison Shopping Engines

      Comparison shopping engines make it easy for consumers to compare prices for specific products from multiple websites. Most price comparison services do not sell products themselves. Rather, they source prices from retailers that are accessible via listings in a search-engine-like format. Popular comparison engines include Froogle, ShopZilla, and Shopping.com. (For a more comprehensive list, see Comparison Shopping Engines Bring Customers Who Are Ready To Buy.)

        With most major search providers jumping into the comparison shopping fray, this new online selling medium has become a highly effective launch pad for web merchants to get products in front of potential customers. Web merchants new to comparison shopping services should note the following:

        • Most price comparison sites make money from online retailers using the pay-per-click (PPC) model. The merchant pays the price comparison site a set fee every time a user clicks through to their site. However, Google’s Froogle shopping search engine currently charges no fees. (Note: All GoECart merchants running GoECart 6 have a built-in Froogle data feed creator.)
        • Comparison engines are ideal if you want to emphasize a specific product or product line in your catalog. Smaller merchants tend to focus their comparison shopping site advertising dollars on a few of their most popular products to increase potential customers, while larger merchants tend to upload their entire product database in order to maximize their market share using this developing medium.
        • Web merchants can start small with a low budget program and then move on to more focused paid programs.

          Blogs

            Right now, blogs are all the rage. And over just a few years, they have made a colossal impact on the online world. Short for “weblog,” a blog is typically made up of a series of diary-like entries on a website displayed in a reverse chronological order. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to related information. Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news. There are also many blogs dedicated to consumer and product oriented information. As a result, savvy online shoppers often use Blogs to perform research before making purchases.

              With the nature of the content posted on blogs, many sites dedicate space for advertisers to place ads right on the blog pages. Online store merchants would do well to sign up for advertising programs on sites that provide information about their products and services. For web merchants seeking to leverage blogs and blog services, popular blogging software providers are Blog.com, Blogger.com and Typad.com.

                RSS Feeds

                  RSS, a Web content syndication format, stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS enables publishers to provide XML-based, news content “feeds” from Web sites. The feeds typically contain article or product headlines, summaries and links back to full articles on the Web. RSS provides a useful alternative to browsing the Web for content and is a fast and efficient way to help your customers stay up to date with the latest information about your site. To view RSS feeds, your customers need “reader” software that displays RSS content feeds that you publish. There are many different types of readers available, including both desktop software and Web-browser-based readers.

                    RSS feeds have tremendous potential to be a boon for web merchants. For example, your online store customers can subscribe to feeds about your products and be notified whenever a new product has been posted to a particular category on your storefront. Moreover, the extremely search engine friendly architecture of RSS- coupled with strong endorsement by most popular search engine providers-makes it easy to submit feeds to various RSS aggregators. Considering the simplicity of preparing the RSS file, the benefits can achievable for anyone.

                      For more information, see XML.com’s Overview of RSS.

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