What does your brand promise, and do your customers really care?

costumes-com-au-logoI just read an interesting article from Justin at Vinomofo about building a tribe and attracting ‘supercustomers’, who love your brand/product and what you stand for.

It is a great article and something that every business owner needs to think about. Even if you are small. Read it, and understand it!

I don’t think that you need to implement a big strategy and employ specific marketing and spend lots of $$ in doing it, especially if you are small. It just means you have to know what your business is. Know what you represent as a brand, and what your brand promise is.

We had a team meeting recently where we discussed this exact thing. We talked about our business, it’s values, and what we really do. the key thing is that we need to understand costumes.com.au as a brand and an entity. We are more than an online costume business. Much more than that really. I won’t go into it, but we have a clear idea on who we are, what we offer and the problems we solve.

We know what we are about.

What do I mean by that? I am really speaking about what our core business is.

If someone asks you what your business is, what would you say? “We sell phones”?
“We build websites”?

If you really think about it, that is NOT what you are doing. And the mistake that a lot businesses make is not really understanding what they are about.

What you might really do is “Enable faster and higher quality communications”, “Solve eCommerce headaches”, or something like that.

The questions you need to ask are

  • What problems do you solve for your customer?
  • How does your brand relate to your customer?

What does your brand promise to do and be for your customer?

Once you know the answers you can start implementing that brand promise in everything you do. This leads to lots of great things. Better business decisions (with a customer focus). Better decisions about brand partnerships, about design and product and office morale and environment.

Your customers care about your brand and their interaction with it. So work at it, start asking a few questions, and good luck!

Participate in our Search Engine Optimisation Conversation Cafe, SHARE AND LEARN!

Learn about the latest trends in Search Engine Optimisation at our Search Marketing conversation cafe session in Melbourne (8 June 2010)

We’re keeping it small and personal!  Book now $49 (only limited seats left!)

You are  invited to attend our first  Conversation Cafe  discussion on the state of search, latest trends and how it can be used to boost traffic to your site.

The event will offer a unique chance to participate in a discussion and learn lessons from participants Teresa Sperti, Adam Griffiths and myself.

The event is designed to provide people with the opportunity to participate in a robust discussion about factors affecting the search industry, to share best practice and to discuss the latest trends.

The format of the session will largely be discussion based, aimed at allowing online retailers/multi channel retailers to share knowledge in the area of organic search engine optimization.

This round table is a collaboration between Teresa Sperti (Head of Marketing & Technology of realestateVIEW.com.au, and owner of blog digitalmarketinglab.com.au), Adam Griffiths (Get Started) and Mark Freidin and yours truly of InternetRetailing.com.au

Discussion Topics

1.    What role is social media playing within your search strategy
2.    How is real time changing the search landscape and how is this changing your search tactics?
3.    Measurement of search in a world of personalisation
4.    How are organisations optimising for mobile search
5.    How have organisations adapted their search strategy to Bing

Interested in attending?

LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE, click here for more info!

Clive Peeters launches eCommerce website today.

Today marks the entrance of Clive Peeters into the online retail world with the launch of the clivepeeters.com.au eCommerce site. News broken by internetretailing.com.au informs us that the site is tightly integrated into the exisiting Clive Peeters ERP system.

Bigbrownbox.com.au (Radio Rentals) is getting 800,000 claimed visits a month is the only real incumbent in this vertical and differs in that they don’t offer the choice of store pickup which Clive Peeters does, although Bigbrownbox.com.au has free shipping.

I am quite impressed with Clivepeeters.com.au version 1, and am looking forward to talking more with Tim West, Online Business Development Manager, about the project.

A Quick Summary of PeSA 2009 in Sydney (+ some pics)

PeSA Sydney 2009 was a great event. A full attendee list of 300+ eBay sellers were there. Here is a brief summary of the event from my perspective. (for more info on the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance, click here).

Well, what a  great conference. PeSA conferences are usually a focused get together of like minded sellers, but this year the attitude that I received from sellers and attendees was just great, better than the year before I think.

My staff and I travelled up to man our sponsor booth (www.readytoship.com.au) and I had some PeSA responsbilities and a panel to MC as well. Sure was a busy few days but it was certainly worth it for us.

The ‘one on one’ sessions that some of the PeSA staff and I (and Jonathan Garris from Gothamcityonline.com) had with attendees were well received I think. It can be tough to really give out a lot of advice in 15 min, its a good challenge! (more…)

Want to grow your eBay business?

Want to grow your eBay business?

Then consider attending this years PeSA event in Sydney, called ‘Survive & Thrive’.

PeSA is the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance and the Australian arm is holding this year’s seller event in Sydney. Last years was a great success with hundreds otf attendees, and I think this years will be even bigger.

Tickets are $199 for attendance, and includes access to exhibitors to help you improve your business, and also speakers, workshops and more.

Last year I ran some one on one sessions with sellers (and I think we might do it this year too). It was great to meet smaller sellers looking to grow!

From the www.pesa-events.com.au site :

The agenda is taking shape and bookings are now open for the 2009 PeSA Summit.

Register to attend today and take advantage of our earlybird price of only $199 for the FULL two day Summit.

Check last year’s feedback if you want to know if this will be worthwhile to your business. And see what exhibitors you’ll be able to vist.

Ill be up there, exhibiting our ReadytoShip shipping automation product, so if you go to the event, be sure to say hello!

Internetretailing.com.au launches today

Today a project that I have been involved with takes a big first step.

Mark Freidin and I today launched www.internetretailing.com.au.

We are not making a big fanfare, and it will surely evolve, but we are happy to see it live.

We are excited by this industry, and in particular the growth that our industry has and is experiencing.

Internetretailing.com.au is a site designed for online retailers. Those beginning their business online, those that have been selling for a while, and for the experienced too.

Over time as we add more content and functionality we want this site to be a hub of information for the growing community of online sellers in Australia, so I really encourage you to read, comment and contribute, and of course return and read again!

Thanks for checking it out.

Nathan

The Fast Rise of Magento Commerce

I follow Magento Commerce and it’s development rather closely. This is because on of my businesses retails online using the Magento ecommerce software and my other business leverages this knowledge (and a lot of other online retail experience) to develop Magento modules and code and shipping automation software.

I have written about some of this in my blog before, and will write a little more shortly as we release our Fraud Prevention Magento Module (using fraud screening technology from Maxmind.com) and some improvements to our shipping automation software ReadytoShip (which now supports Magento).

I have noticed a steady increase in the amount of traffic coming to this blog because of Magento keywords searches in Google. I just happen to rank fairly highly in Google for the term “Magento Performance” which is good, maybe I should write a little more about it!?

But I have also noticed a larger number of online stores in Australia either developing in Magento, or already using Magento. There are a few big brands too, like Durex and Homedics using it now too.

I did some Google searching this morning for the .au domain to see how many stores I could find built of being built in Australia and there are already over 120.

The Magento name is being searched heavily worldwide now, see Google Trends from All Regions and Australia here.

Google Search Trend all regions

Google Search Trend all regions

Compare the Magento trend to that of ‘oscommerce’.

google-search-trend-all-region-oscommerce1

Not a bad start for Magento Commerce down under, especially when the product is only at an early version 1 stage and there is not a huge amount of developer and designer support for it yet (although this seem to be growing as well).

Is Magento Commerce a good eCommerce solution for you?

There are been a little bit of buzz around the place about Magento Commerce.

The open source eCommerce arena has been a crowded one in the last 5 years. The big names are popular still (including stores like X-Cart, osCommerce, Zen Cart, CRE Loaded and there are more).

But Magento was mentioned to me by a potential customer a while ago. I only had a quick look at the time, but some weeks later another customer mentioned that they were looking at it.

Well, that got my attention, so what is Magento Commerce like as an eCommerce solution? It certainly looks great, and even installations ‘out of the box’ have a very slick feel to them. Certainly better than osCommerce for example. (more…)

PeSA Australia Summit Wrap-up

Back on deck at work this morning, following up a few people that I met at the Pesa Summit over the last few days.

It was great to meet some readers of my blog, and talk to a lot of sellers. After my panel session on Business Automation my 15 min one on one blocks with sellers were booked out very quickly. I had lots of sellers ask advice on their websites, listings and business and it was great to see so much enthusiasm.

As Jonathon Garriss pointed out during one of the sessions, he doesnt know it all and neither do I. But it is great to chare experience and we always learn.

Every time I catch up with some of my peer sellers we always learn things too. You will never hear of Paul from DealsDirect.com.au visiting a conference like this and walking away saying he didn’t learn something to go back to his business and implement, for example. I learnt a lot too.

Day two of the summit had some great material. I was particularly fascinated by Tom O’Toole (of Beechworth Bakery fame). He is a very energetic and passionate speaker!

Other sessions included copywriting and headline skills which was very interesting. Direct marketing has a lot of common ground with eBay listings and advertisements. A lot to learn.

I also had a lot of people ask about our new product ReadytoShip which was great, and also got some great feedback on some other areas that sellers find frustrating and time consuming that we are working on fixing. But I will post more about that shortly!

PeSA Australia Summit Day 1

I just got home from the PeSA Australia summit, Navigating Success for Change.

A good turnout with close to 300 signups,s to the Flemington staff were kept busy with coffee and snacks during breaks.

Keynote this morning was from Jonathan Garriss (of Gotham City Online) who has flown in from the US and talked about current opportunity in eCommerce. He had some interesting facts to get everyone motivated and keep things in perspective. eCommerce is growing at 15% pa, traditional commerce is +/-3% pa.

There is a massive and more importantly growing marketplace to find opportunity in.

The ‘Navigating Change for Success’ tagline for the event was followed up with some discussion on change and opportunity. Jonathon is always a good speaker, with some great sites, technology and processes in his business that give him some good credibility.

Some of us more experienced eBay sellers also got the chance to spend some one on one time with sellers and talk about their ebay listings, stores and strategies which was interesting. I had quite a range of sellers talk to me today, from very small turnover sellers to quite large ones.

The attitude today was very positive. Simon Smith did ask that no one yell at him, and it sounds like he got his wish.

The 2 panels today were Business Automation (with Your truly, John from JJ entertainment, and Anthony of AuctionBlox), and the Top Seller panel (with Shaun from Selby Acoustics, Shayne from i-soldit.com.au and Jonathon of Dinosaur Deals).

I love the chance to talk to sellers about their business. It seems that there are som many sellers out there wanting to grow that perhaps don’t even know what parts of their businesses can be improved with better tools and processes.

I think the panels were the highlight from today, based on feedback that I got. It is a great opportunity for sellers to ask questions to people who have travelled the road before them. Jonathon, Shayne and Shaun did a great job talking about some of their own businesses, challenges and strategies and answering questions.

Some brief highlights of the day

  • Simon Smith did state that they had a ‘deep regret’ about how the Paypal changes were implemented.
  • Effectively a promise that eBay Australia management would be far more active in discussing potential upcoming changes in Australia (with sellersand buyers) that are already occurring in eBay US
  • One on one sessions. Great chance to talk to sellers looking for some advice. Jonathon Garriss had quite a crowd (but he loves it:) !
  • Simon announces today that the interstitial prior to leaving a neg (advising buyers that sellers can’t leave retaliatory feedback) was being removed today.
  • Great networking opportunities with lots of other likeminded sellers.

A big day. Definitely time for some sleep.