Yahoo Merchant Summit – June 2010

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 16-06-2010-05-2008

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Last week was a busy week! Exclusive Concepts exhibited at the Internet Retailer Conference (Tuesday through Thursday), then on Friday we were the Patron sponsor of the Yahoo! Merchant Summit, and on Saturday morning I moved into a new house! At the Yahoo! Merchant Summit I participated on several panels, including SEO and SEM for Managers and a site review session at the end of the day which was a lot of fun.

The highlight of the week, of course, was meeting face-to-face with many clients and partners who we work with throughout the year. As a life-long entrepreneur I have a passion for business, and I find it incredibly energizing to be around other entrepreneurs and business owners who do as well. In addition, I continue to be impressed by the Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Account Management team. These true e-commerce experts, led by Mike Ober, care about the merchants they work with and become a partner in their growth.

In my SEO and SEM for Managers panel, one of my central points was that many merchants should think differently about their marketing goals. Yes, traffic is incredibly important, but I suggested that merchants think more strategically about which traffic they seek rather than making the assumption that all traffic is equal. To illustrate my point I talked about the Consumer Behavior Cycle and how shoppers have different needs along each stage of this cycle.

For example, a shopper in the earliest stage of the cycle, problem recognition, may be very unlikely to convert into a sale, especially if your website does not have content that caters to the needs of shoppers in this stage of the cycle. As a result, it probably would not be a good idea for a merchant to commit to targeting such phrases with their SEO and SEM campaigns at the expense of phrases that are more in line with the experience the site offers. Instead, this merchant may want to commit to generating traffic from shoppers who are in stages of the Consumer Behavior Cycle that their website DOES cater to. If the merchant has good content that makes it easy for shoppers to evaluate a number of options easily, they may want to target shoppers in the “evaluation of alternatives” stage. Or, if the merchant has very low prices or other major benefits, the “purchase” stage may be a good fit.

The whole point is to commit your SEO and SEM efforts to luring shoppers that you can deliver a good experience for. This will enable you to gain a better return on your marketing efforts as conversion rates go through the roof. This mindset is also helpful because it offers a simple yet effective framework for growing a niche store: If you want to dominate your niche, engage in a long-term, systematic strategy to attract, convert, and retain shoppers at all levels of the consumer behavior cycle. This is a holistic approach.

I’m looking forward to sharing more perspectives at future Yahoo! Merchant Summit events. In the mean time, please be sure to check out the Exclusive Concepts Blog. Every day one of our experts posts a 5-minute video on one concept of Internet Marketing. The videos are free and you can sign-up to receive daily notifications by going to:

http://www.ExclusiveConcepts.com/blog

Have a profitable day!