Archive for the ‘Search Marketing’ Category

As Car Sales Rise Aftermarket Auto Parts Retailers Can Benefit

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Posted by:  Laura Hills, VP, Marketing, Dydacomp

New car unit sales rose 1.5 million in August of this year, which was the highest level in more than six years and a 17% increase over August 2012.  Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler and General Motors all posted double digit gains over August 2012 and are running leaner, more cost efficient organizations contributing to greater profitability. Chrysler and GM each forecast that total U.S. sales in August ran at an annual rate above 16 million, a pace not seen since November of 2007, a month before the start of the Great Recession.

The recovery in the auto industry is not confined to a single market segment.  It is broad based and includes luxury and small car buyers, along with work truck buyers which signal increased confidence among all consumers.  A combination of factors has been cited as the impetus behind this growth including:

  • Need to replace older vehicles (average age of cars and trucks is 11.4 years)
  • Low interest rates
  • High trade-in values
  • More people are working
  • Sweet lease deals
  • New vehicle designs
  • Fuel efficient options
  • Uptick in construction raising demand for pickup trucks

Aftermarket auto parts and accessories are also experiencing significant growth, with online sales well outpacing brick and mortar sales.  Hedges & Company, a digital agency specializing in the automotive aftermarket is forecasting online sales be nearly $4.4 billion in 2013, up from a revised $3.8 billion in 2012 to grow by 15.5% from 2012.

Several auto industry trends will greatly impact the aftermarket and aftermarket retailers need to take notice.   These include:

  • Big engines in both cars and trucks remain hot.  This has always been a sweet spot for the aftermarket companies that sell parts for these large engines, including parts to improve gas mileage and should continue.
  • Two new pony cars are expected in 2014 – a new Mustang and a new Camaro, which are always popular in-demand cars.  Aftermarket parts and accessory dealers need to be ready to react quickly with new products for these vehicles.
  • New light truck and SUV registrations have shown a 10.6% increase over last year.  This definitely is good news for aftermarket parts and accessory retailers in the truck market.

Amazon sells more auto parts and accessories than any other online retailer but many retailers who started selling through eBayMotors and Amazon are now looking to drive more customers through their own websites.

Just as the automakers have retrenched and improved their operations to weather the economic storm, aftermarket retailers need to refocus their efforts to better respond to shopper demand.  Customer satisfaction basics now drive the auto industry and aftermarket retailers need to be able be equally as responsive in connecting with their target audiences.  With more online business, you need to be sure that your eCommerce operation is ready to handle all of your customers’ needs. Provide better product descriptions, be sure your online order process is easy to use, add how-to videos, live customer support and become the go-to place for aftermarket parts and accessories.

For additional information and help with growing your auto parts and accessories business, plan to attend that 2013 SEMA from November 5–November 8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event drawing the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products. SEMA offers its members a variety of business tools and resources to help you make smarter business decisions and be more strategic and targeted with your promotions.  For information on the 2013 SEMA Show click here. 

For Dydacomp’s special white paper, The Keys to Drive the Business, Best Practices for Aftermarket Auto Parts Retailers, click here.

For the Associated Press article on U.S. auto sales for 2013 by Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin, click here.   (http://www.theledger.com/article/20130904/NEWS/130909697/1178?Title=Double-Digits-Automakers-Report-Big-Gains-for-August).

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Posted in CEO, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Spotlight, Dydacomp News, Ecommerce, Email Marketing, Industry News, Multichannel Order Manager, Payment Processing, PCI Compliance, Press Release, Search Marketing, Shipping, SiteLINK News, SMB Index, StoreFront.net, Support, Webinar | No Comments »

SMB Marketing Tactics Help Win and Retain Customers

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Posted by Laura Hills, VP Marketing, Dydacomp

SMB marketers share many of the same challenges as their larger counterparts and have the same desire to make their companies successful.  What is interesting, according to a recent study conducted by BtoB Magazine[1] is that SMB marketers are more active in social media marketing than marketers at larger companies and are also more likely to rely on content, email, search techniques and webinars than marketers overall.

This study found that email is the favored distribution channel for SMB marketers, with 71% citing this as their most important channel compared with 64% of marketers overall.   Content marketing was identified as the number one role for all marketers coming in ahead of branding, managing the website, company events and search marketing.  Seventy percent of SMB marketers see content marketing as their primary task compared with just 58% of marketers overall. Webinars and virtual events are used more often by SMBs at 35% versus 28% for marketers overall.

Another study that looked at marketing tactics used by SMBs found that 38% of small businesses offer customer loyalty programs.  BIA/Kelsey’s ongoing study of advertising behaviors, “Local Commerce Monitor” shows that SMBs use of loyalty programs has remained steady from 2012 to 2013 with 21% likely to add loyalty programs within the next 12 months.  Businesses are recognizing that these programs are important to customer retention and will help them to increase their sales.  SMBs tailor their loyalty program offerings and rewards to fit their frequent customer profile and target specific customer segments.   SMBs are taking advantage of transaction marketing tactics that include deals, coupons and loyalty programs to win and retain as many customers as possible.

For additional information on best practices for growing your business, we invite you to view our on demand webinar Tips, Tricks and Tools You Need to Drive Business Growth in 2013.



[1] “Defining the Modern Marketer: SMBs Driving Results.”  Sponsored by Eloqua. Conducted by BtoB Magazine, May – June 2013.

 

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Posted in Customer Satisfaction, Dydacomp News, Ecommerce, Email Marketing, Industry News, Multichannel Order Manager, Search Marketing, SiteLINK News, StoreFront.net, Webinar | No Comments »

August Deals Can Boost Your eCommerce Sales

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Posted by Laura Hills, VP Marketing, Dydacomp

According to Jeanette Pavini, popular MarketWatch columnist, August is a great month for deals that include and extend beyond the typical back-to-school items. [1] Today’s shoppers are armed with up-to-date information on what sales and offers are trending so they look for great prices on items such as computers and other electronics, storage systems, cleaning supplies and even last minute summer vacations during August.  While August is also a good month to buy a car, auto accessories are becoming increasingly popular gifts.  You can read about consumer guidance for purchases in August in an article by Lindsay Sakraida in DealNews entitled “The Best and Worst Things to Buy in August.”

If you offer these items, be sure your customers are aware of any deals and special offers that you may be promoting by creating targeted promotions and messaging to keep key shoppers informed.  Some states even offer tax holidays throughout August and September for the back-to-school shopping season so check whether this applies to you and be sure to let your customers know.

See the full text of Jeanette’s article for additional consumer advice that shoppers may be looking at to take advantage of the August sales and determine if you can get in on offering bargains to attract new or repeat customers.  You can also view our webinar on demand entitled Tips, Tricks and Tools You Need to Drive Business Growth in 2013.

Happy selling!



[1] August Best Buys Start with Back-to-school Clothes  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323854904578635951961932538.html

Make Your Inventory Work Smarter–Use Multichannel Order History to Take Advantage of June Shopping Trends for Dads, Grads and Brides

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Posted by: Laura Hills, VP Marketing,

Beyond traditional Father’s Day, graduation and wedding gifts (e.g. electronics, power tools, and household items), auto parts and home improvement products (e.g. paint, hardware and garden supplies) now rank high for purchases made in June.  In fact, FatWallet (an online shopping resource for millions of consumers) has seen a 65% increase in online sales made at top retailers from Memorial Day sales through Father’s Day since 2010.

“June may seem like a flat month for shopping and saving, when in fact, it’s a better time to buy a number of homeowner must-haves versus any other time of year,” stated Brent Shelton, FatWallet Spokesperson.  “With three weeks of sales events for these categories, consumers have time to shop smarter by comparing the variety of savings offered to them,” continued Shelton. “Every retailer will have products priced to get shoppers’ attention, so it’s a great time to buy gear for the guys.”

Whether you sell online, by catalogue or in person, ensure your retail inventory is well positioned to work smart for you by taking advantage of shoppers’ demands for Dad, Grads and Brides in June. Just follow these key tips:

#1 – Identify and target your best customers and prospects.  If you are not marketing effectively to your existing customers then you are missing out on the best opportunity to capitalize on your inventory and grow your business.

#2 – Ensure you have visibility into prior customer orders and preferences across all channels.  This will allow you to easily segment your list and target specific offers to increase response rates from your best shoppers.

#3 – Make your inventory work smarter for you by using order history across multiple channels as a gauge for buyer behaviors to adjust inventory levels needed every day versus what’s needed during peak periods.

For additional tips on how to better focus your target marketing efforts, click here to download Dydacomp’s special report, “Retail Trends – Is Your Back Office Keeping Up With Your Online Store?

The MarketWatch press release, “June Shopping Trends Lead to Sales Growth in Tools, Automotive and Home Improvement,” can be accessed at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/june-shopping-trends-lead-to-sales-growth-in-tools-automotive-and-home-improvement-2013-05-31.

 

 

Grow Sales Through Shopping Channel Marketing

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

By Laura Hills, VP of Marketing, Dydacomp

In the connected and digital world that we live in, consumers are inundated with information and opinions.  They haveiStock 000013061473XSmall 300x249 Grow Sales Through Shopping Channel Marketing more choices than ever before.  They are more independent, looking to find information for themselves and then voicing their likes and dislikes through social networks. They’re smarter and more aware of the choices they make when they buy.  Just watch a tech savvy shopper in a store these days. If they’re buying electronics or other merchandise over $50, you’ll likely see them pull out their smartphone, scan the barcode, and quickly find the lowest price available (both online and in stores).

In order to effectively compete in this environment, it’s advisable to syndicate your products to multiple shopping channels, including Amazon, Google Shopping, Nextag, Shopzilla and more.  Shopping channels actually deliver more qualified traffic than traditional search engine Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or organic methods. This makes sense because a consumer searching for the lowest price on a product most likely has the intent to purchase it. But if a consumer is doing an Internet search and clicks on a PPC ad, they are more likely doing research.

When you submit your products to a shopping channel, you are dramatically increasing the audience that you reach. Shopping channel feeds are also similar to the PPC model – you are only paying for traffic generated to your site. You can also control your daily or monthly budget  It’s a powerful way to build brand awareness and drive qualified traffic to your site.

If you would like to learn more about shopping channel marketing, click here to view the on-demand webinar Using Shopping Channels to Drive Business Growth.

Tips for Small Businesses: Getting Your Site Found through SEO

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Posted by Laura Hills, VP of Marketing, Dydacomp

As the competition for online traffic increases, you need to turn to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve organicgoogle 300x143 Tips for Small Businesses: Getting Your Site Found through SEO search ranking and drive more traffic to your site.  On the most basic level, as the search engines “spider your site”, they search for the keywords and relevant content to determine your site’s position in search listings.  Use all the tools at your disposal to make your site both content and keyword rich to be more visible to search engines and consumers alike.

The use of keywords on each page [relevancy and quantity] is the best place to start your basic website optimization. While all the information about keywords, both in body copy and in HTML code, can be overwhelming, it’s important to start with the basic premise that your website should be written for your target audience, not just for Google.

Optimizing keywords is just the first step in an overall SEO strategy.  While updating all of the content on a site is a time-consuming process, the good news is that changes can be made page by page.  Your website is essential to business growth and success, so SEO optimization is worth the effort.

Get the Most from Product Descriptions

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Posted by: Al Pascale, Dydacomp eCommerce Managerapascale Get the Most from Product Descriptions

As a small eCommerce business it can often be difficult to get consumers to find and purchase your products. One way to help increase product visibility and increase online conversions is to carefully construct product descriptions.  Time and time again I have seen businesses fail to capitalize on this feature and simply rely on the manufactures product description on their website.  These descriptions are already located on hundreds or even thousands of other sites and offer little to no SEO value for your Ecommerce store.

The best option for ecommerce product descriptions is for store owners to create an original description that includes:

  1. A physical description with attention to specific features. Take time to research what product characteristics will be most appealing to consumers and create your product description around these features.
  2. Emphasize product benefits and the experience consumers should expect to have with the product. Give consumers ideas on how the item can fit into their lifestyle or home, but do not simply tell them, dramatize it by showing consumers how your product will improve upon his/her current situation.
  3. Create perceived value of the product and continually expand on it. When writing your product description, remember to write for your intended audience and what value they would find in your product.
  4. Make sure you set your product apart from competitors. The product description is a great chance for you to separate your product from all other similar products.
  5. For search engines, you will want to make sure your product descriptions include your targeted keywords.  If you are a reseller of brand names, you can use the brand name recognition, so use the brand as a keyword or as a tag to enhance your product description and SEO. The goal is to carefully add those important keywords but not to write your description for search engines, you need to write them for customers. Use your keyword in the page title, product description, in Meta tags, and also in the ALT tag, which is the optional description you include in the HTML code where you insert the product image.

Your product descriptions can help search engines and consumers find your online store and products. For these reasons, you should take time to make sure you are getting the most out of your product descriptions. Don’t forget to proofread for grammar and spelling, as any mistakes can hurt your professional image in the eyes of consumers.

 

 

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Using Social Marketing to Help Improve SEO

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Post By: Lisa Gittleman, lgittleman Using Social Marketing to Help Improve SEODydacomp Marketing Specialist

Companies, no matter what the size, are constantly working to improve their SEO.  One way to do this, which many smaller businesses often overlook, is through social media. Search engines Google and Bing have already confirmed that links shared through social networks Twitter and Facebook directly and positively impact rankings. Therefore, companies should build their social media campaign in order to improve their SEO.  It is important to have a plan in place before beginning social media efforts; discover where customers are interacting and focus on finding ways to open up the interaction between them.

Social platforms can help you find what consumers are saying about your company and product. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, online forums, and industry and company blogs are all great places to start the search. Use the interactions to help you understand what keywords you should be focusing in on. You can then optimize your own social profiles to include those keywords and targeted search phrases to boost the visibility of your site on search engines. Social platforms can help to improve your search engine ranking, leading to an increase in traffic on your site and a stronger reputation.

These interactions can also help you figure out what content will be most effective for current and potential customers. The more useful and informative the content you are offering, the more likely it will be shared across various social platforms. This sharing is the key to improving your search engine ranking as it improves the trust search engines have in your site.

There is no guarantee that all of the interactions you find out there in the social media world will be positive. However, the best way to combat the negative reviews and feedback you receive is to actively listen to them and to alter your efforts to create a better experience.  Working to combat negative feedback usually yields increased positive results.

Social media plays a crucial and beneficial role in improving your search engine ranking, in addition to the overall image of your company. The more customers are talking about you and sharing information, the better it is for your business.

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Want to Increase Your Search Ranking? Take a Look at the Your Product Pages Today!

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Posted by Rob Coon, President of Dydacomp

rcoon Want to Increase Your Search Ranking?  Take a Look at the Your Product Pages Today!Google can do a lot but it can’t look at the photos and videos on your website and know what they contain so they can serve your content up when they get a visitor searching for a product like yours.  They can count key words on your product pages which was the original premise of Google way back when.  So if you are looking to increase your search rankings, let’s start with the descriptions on your product pages.

If you get a chance this weekend, take a look at your top 50 product pages and see what the words and terms say about the product.  Are they very descriptive?  Does the description include the way someone may search on that product?  Does it link to other pages on your site for more information?  We looked at the 200 pages on the Dydacomp website and rewrote most of them using this formula.  Take a look at a before and after of one of the pages:

BEFORE

before 300x180 Want to Increase Your Search Ranking?  Take a Look at the Your Product Pages Today!

AFTER

after 300x181 Want to Increase Your Search Ranking?  Take a Look at the Your Product Pages Today!

Now there are many other things you can do to improve your rankings like naming your pages with the product’s name the page describes, getting more links to your site from reputable third party sources and blogs, but our recommendation is to start with content and by the looks of many of your sites this might be a fast and inexpensive pick up for you.  We can help if you don’t have time to do it.  We’ll improve the key word density of the top 50 pages of your site for $995.  Over a couple of month period as your click throughs improve from this exercise,  Google will start to reward you for “being found”  and the more Google visitors that click on you the higher your ranking goes as well.  Caution:  You will also need to continue to refresh this content to remain relevant to the search engines.

All of this information applies regardless if you are using our cloud hosted SiteLINK ecommerce solution or another shopping cart that you have plugged into Multichannel Order Manager.

I didn’t mean to give you a homework assignment for this weekend but it is one that I think will get you a really good grade for your website.

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Posted in Ecommerce, Search Marketing | No Comments »

Social Media Starts With Your Site

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Posted by John Healy, CEO of Dydacomp

jvh Social Media Starts With Your SiteEveryone wants their company to be on Facebook and Twitter and I say go for it but make sure your webstore has a couple of key social elements on page that will definitely help with conversion.  The first is to be able to post buyer reviews.  You’ll see in the research below that this has a positive effect on over ½ of the audience that would typically visit your site:

online trust 300x244 Social Media Starts With Your Site

The second is to have a “share this” box (www.sharethis.com) on your site as well that allows your visitors to post to FaceBook or many other social sites as well as email product page information to a friend for their feedback.  Many of you already employee this feature but it is one that you shouldn’t overlook.

icons 300x136 Social Media Starts With Your Site

One last thought on the social experience and your site.  Sometimes a visitor needs more than buyer reviews or the ability to share product page information: they need to talk to someone.  We find that a “live person” www.liveperson.com chat experience placed on interior pages of your site and triggered to pop up after 10 seconds or so improves the visitor experience as well.  The interesting part of live chat on the web is a customer services representative can handle multiple chats at once where someone the phone can only handle one call at a time.

livechat Social Media Starts With Your Site

Let us know your experiences with getting more social on your site.  Feel free to forward this to a friend as well.  All of these ideas are available on SiteLINK.

Best,

John

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