Ecommerce Mistakes

Here are the 6 primary categories of ecommerce mistakes, in ‘chronological’ order:   Critical Business Mistakes – We’re looking at your fundamental business model here. If you screw this up, even the best website and marketing won’t save you, because nobody’s interested in buying your stuff. Marketing Mistakes – You have a valid solution, but your customers don’t even … Continue reading Ecommerce Mistakes

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Is Marketing Evil?

The short, convenient, feel-good answer: “No.” “Is marketing evil? Absolutely, but only in the same way that the gun or the printing press is evil. It is a tool that takes whatever form its owner wants it to take. Power is afforded to whoever uses it.” – David Fallarme Marketing is indeed a tool. But some … Continue reading Is Marketing Evil?

SumAll: Aggregate your social media analytics to optimize your ecommerce marketing efforts.

How much is your social media traffic worth to your business? How much exactly does an increase in your Twitter reach improve your sales? How would you do things differently if you discovered that your Facebook fans drive sales twice as much as your Twitter followers? Having good answers to these questions make it a … Continue reading SumAll: Aggregate your social media analytics to optimize your ecommerce marketing efforts.

A summary of 8 top “Ecommerce Must-Knows” posts

We know you’re busy and need to get working on your ecommerce business, so we did all the “must know” reading for you. Why go online?  – You can reach more customers, and reach them quicker. – You transcend geographic (and chronological!) limitations. – It’s a growing market, projections are rosy (more business, and at … Continue reading A summary of 8 top “Ecommerce Must-Knows” posts

The Precise Difference Between Social Networks And Social Media

This is a fun blogpost, written mostly for the sake of being unnecessarily pedantic. If you’re obsessive about the linguistic meaning of things, this is for you! When they made a movie about Facebook, they called it The Social Network. So why then, do we now tend to say “In the age of social media” … Continue reading The Precise Difference Between Social Networks And Social Media

Apparel Referral Program Examples: The Clymb

While on a lookout for great-looking referral programs, we discovered The Clymb, which sells everything you’ll need for your next outdoors adventure. They have a referral program that’s sleek, stylish, simple and compelling. The Clymb.com Homepage  Two-Sided Incentives When a successful referral is made, Clymb rewards both parties. The referrer (Alice) gets $15 credit towards … Continue reading Apparel Referral Program Examples: The Clymb

Marketing Insights from Linda Bustos, Ecommerce Expert from Get Elastic

 will pose a set of questions to explore the insights and opinions of experts in various aspects of marketing (social media, content, etc.) and ecommerce! Starting us off is Get Elastic, the #1 subscribed ecommerce blog in the world! Catering mainly to ecommerce retailers, Get Elastic provides excellent articles ranging from optimising SEO to utilising … Continue reading Marketing Insights from Linda Bustos, Ecommerce Expert from Get Elastic

How To Make An Infomercial: How Ron Popeil Would’ve Marketed The VCR, According To @Gladwell

In an earlier post, we talked about the marketing wisdom of informercial superstar Ron Popeil. Here’s a passage by Malcolm Gladwell that we found so compelling, we had to explore it in a post of its own: “Thirty years ago, the video cassette recorder came on the market, and it was a disruptive product: it was … Continue reading How To Make An Infomercial: How Ron Popeil Would’ve Marketed The VCR, According To @Gladwell

How To Do Ecommerce Marketing With Limited Resources

Let’s get right into it. You don’t have the luxury of a massive marketing campaign. You can’t afford to hire talent. You don’t have the time to get started on your marketing degree, either. You’ll simply have to make do with what you have. And you don’t have a lot of room for failure. What … Continue reading How To Do Ecommerce Marketing With Limited Resources

Marketing Lessons From Ron Popeil, The Salesman Of The Century

I was tidying up my bookshelf last night, and I happened to open up my copy of  Malcolm Gladwell’s What The Dog Saw. The first chapter in the book is about Ron “The Pitchman” Popeil, infomercial superstar. You might recognize him as the “Wait, there’s more!” guy on TV. Described as “The Salesman of The … Continue reading Marketing Lessons From Ron Popeil, The Salesman Of The Century

Fashion Referral Program Examples: True&Co

we’re taking a look at True&Co. True&Co is an online lingerie store that uses a special algorithm to figure out a lady’s bra size, and then recommend lingerie that cater to their personal sizes. They even provide a home-fitting service, so that totally eliminates the trip to the dressing room. Here’s what we felt after exploring … Continue reading Fashion Referral Program Examples: True&Co

How To Communicate Passion Effectively

Here’s a phrase that’s thrown around so often, it’s essentially meaningless: “We’re passionate about <insert-word-here>”. Talk is cheap. We could tell you that we’re passionate about ecommerce and referral marketing, for instance. We ARE, but us saying it doesn’t actually say very much about us, our product or what we can do for you. We’d … Continue reading How To Communicate Passion Effectively

What’s The Difference Between Marketing And Sales?

This is part of a series of posts about definitions, because it’s important to have good definitions. It’s easy to get marketing and sales mixed up. They’re both customer-facing, they both help to increase your revenue, and they’re highly interrelated, too. Great marketing “softens the ground”, giving the salesperson a more receptive audience to work … Continue reading What’s The Difference Between Marketing And Sales?

Has Ecommerce in the U.S. become saturated? [Infographic]

The question on the minds of many in the U.S. ecommerce market, especially those new to the scene, is this: Does the large U.S. ecommerce market still have room to grow? We were curious to find out as well and so looked at the various data sources out there to create the following infographic. We’ve … Continue reading Has Ecommerce in the U.S. become saturated? [Infographic]

Ecommerce Interview featuring Graham Charlton from Econsultancy

Graham Charlton from Econsultancy, an ecommerce blog which provides statistics, analyses and tips on various topics for marketers!  Graham Charlton, who is the Editor-in-Chief of the blog, has more than 6 years of experience in the field, and writes for a wide variety of topics, such as SEO, UX, ecommerce marketing, and much more. His responses … Continue reading Ecommerce Interview featuring Graham Charlton from Econsultancy

Guinness Marketing Example – Analyzing the simple, effective marketing behind Guinness’s “phones down” ad.

Guinness put out an ad telling us to put our phones down and enjoy drinking responsibly. Its been deemed interesting enough to be shared and reported on Mashable and Business Insider respectively, so here it is: “I think advertising should be like poison gas. It should grip you by the throat, it should bowl you … Continue reading Guinness Marketing Example – Analyzing the simple, effective marketing behind Guinness’s “phones down” ad.

Essential Ecommerce Insights with Matt Winn from Volusion

Matt Winn from Volusion, an ecommerce platform that provides a wide range of services, including web templates, SEO services, analytics, and many other customisable features for online stores! Matt Winn is Volusion’s Marketing Communications Manager, where he helps oversee the organization’s branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all … Continue reading Essential Ecommerce Insights with Matt Winn from Volusion

Food Ecommerce Interview With Personal Trainer Food

Mike Starks, CEO of Personal Trainer Food Personal Trainer Food is a meal delivery program that delivers healthy food right to your doorstep, anywhere in the USA. their CEO, Mike Starks, will answer a few of our burning questions. 1. Hey Mike! You started out by preparing food for your wife. Did you know that … Continue reading Food Ecommerce Interview With Personal Trainer Food

Instagram’s First Ad, and Questions Worth Asking

Instagram’s first ad rolled out on Friday, courtesy of Michael Kors. Here are some interesting things to think about, and questions to ask. 1: How many new followers did Michael Kors get because of the ad? At the time of writing, the ad got over 204,000 likes. This is more than double any other post … Continue reading Instagram’s First Ad, and Questions Worth Asking

How To Build A Menswear Brand – An Interview With Owen & Fred

Buying gifts for guys can sometimes be such a challenge: some are extremely particular, some don’t even know what they want, and others simply don’t need anything. You know who you are. Don’t worry, as Owen & Fred is here to save the day. They provide manly gift ideas made locally in the United States, and … Continue reading How To Build A Menswear Brand – An Interview With Owen & Fred

Everything I’ve Written About Referral Marketing

As the blog grows, it makes sense for us to revisit what i’ve already written to see how it all fits together. Here we go. Getting started Why Referral Marketing is Awesome 83% of satisfied customers say they’re willing to refer your products to friends, but only 29% actually do so. Referral marketing helps you … Continue reading Everything I’ve Written About Referral Marketing

Hardware Referral Program Examples: Lunatik

In this week’s episode, we present to you Lunatik: a company that produces some of the most bad-ass iPhone cases and mobile devices we’ve ever seen. Unconvinced? Here’s one of their flagship cases, the Taktik Extreme case for the iPhone 5s: We weren’t joking.Uh huh…The Lunatik team’s incredible design chops are evident in their superb … Continue reading Hardware Referral Program Examples: Lunatik

The Evolution of Sinterklaas (And Lessons For Marketers)

  Who is Santa Claus, exactly, and how did he come about? It’s interesting how so many of us take him for granted. If Christmas is about the birth of Jesus (and as Caleb pointed out in our last post, it isn’t nearly that straightforward), where did Santa Claus come from? Why are we all … Continue reading The Evolution of Sinterklaas (And Lessons For Marketers)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was Invented By A Content Marketer

  In the past couple of posts, we’ve talked about both Christmas and Santa Claus, and how they’re both incredibly complicated, complex ideas that have evolved over time. In contrast, it turns out that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has a much simpler story. A content marketer made him up. Well, nobody was really using the term … Continue reading Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was Invented By A Content Marketer

Student Referral Program Examples: Perkla

Today, we’re featuring Perkla: an interesting startup that provides a one-stop online shopping platform exclusively for students. Students who sign up are able to enjoy discounts from an array of online stores, including: Bonobo, Converse, Reebok and Apple. Here are a couple of things we really like about Perkla: 1. They relate to their customers. The founders … Continue reading Student Referral Program Examples: Perkla

Christmas: The Greatest Marketing Campaign of All Time?

It’s getting close to Christmas, they’re cutting down trees…they’re putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace. Well, you guys are anyway. Here at the ReferralCandy sweatshop in the North Pole, we work like Santa’s elves to bring you awesome referral marketing services all year around instead. So while you lot are making out … Continue reading Christmas: The Greatest Marketing Campaign of All Time?

Was 2013 the Year Google Turned Evil?

The following is an Op-Ed piece. If you’re a user of Google+, you might have come across Google’s Auto Awesome feature by now. For the uninitiated, it’s a service that puts together the photos you’ve uploaded over the past year into a photo montage, set to music. It’s a fun and convenient way to take … Continue reading Was 2013 the Year Google Turned Evil?

Marketing 101: Start With Yourself

Have you ever tried learning to draw? A common refrain you’ll hear from art teachers is “Draw what you see, not what you think you see.” Here’s a quote from Drawing With Your Artist’s Brain, by Carl Purcell: “If you think you can’t draw, it’s all in your head. Every time you pick up a … Continue reading Marketing 101: Start With Yourself

How Did Cookie Clicker Get So Popular?

Have you played Cookie Clicker?  When describing it to my bemused colleagues, I found myself saying “Well, you do stuff to make a number go up, and that number going up allows you to do more cool stuff, which then makes the number go up faster. You get achievements and progressively cooler looking things.” One … Continue reading How Did Cookie Clicker Get So Popular?

How To Write Content For Skeptical Readers – The Content Marketer’s Struggle

Readers don’t trust the media, and especially not the Internet. A survey conducted by Mancx revealed that Americans are predominantly skeptical of information on the Internet. As many as 98% of Americans surveyed find reasons to distrust online content. Why is that? In the Mancx survey, respondents’ skepticism were triggered by “too many ads”, or suggestions … Continue reading How To Write Content For Skeptical Readers – The Content Marketer’s Struggle

Customer Acquisition Resources For Hardware Startups

Confession: Underneath our dashing good looks, we’re really tech geeks who’re obsessed with cool hardware. The rabbithole goes pretty deep, I have to admit. Our engineers actually name their internal tools after sci-fi writers: Asimov, Clarke and so on. We use a LIFX bulb in our office to tell us when things get reset. With a little imagination, … Continue reading Customer Acquisition Resources For Hardware Startups

They’ll Remember You Forever: 90+ Examples of ‘Made To Stick’ Principles in Marketing

Over the past couple of months, we’ve covered the 6 Made to Stick principles by Chip and Dan Heath, with close to 100 real-world marketing examples! Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Stories Here’s a recap on how each principle works, and how you can apply them on your own branding/marketing messages: Strip your brand message down to its core … Continue reading They’ll Remember You Forever: 90+ Examples of ‘Made To Stick’ Principles in Marketing

13 Examples Of Killer Marketing, According To Ogilvy’s @RorySutherland

Rory Sutherland is the vice-chairman of Ogilvy & Mather. He’s given 3 TED talks over the years that are full of great perspective and marketing wisdom: Life lessons from an ad man [2009] “Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change … Continue reading 13 Examples Of Killer Marketing, According To Ogilvy’s @RorySutherland

Dropbox’s Referral Program – How They Got 4 Million Users In 15 Months

In its latest round of fundraising, Dropbox raised between $250 to $400 million dollars, which put the company at a valuation of ten billion dollars. $10,000,000,000! At the time of writing, that makes it worth just slightly less than Pinterest + Snapchat + Uber combined. Dropbox is often cited as the canonical example of successful … Continue reading Dropbox’s Referral Program – How They Got 4 Million Users In 15 Months

10 Ways Ecommerce Brands Can Increase Traffic And Sales With Facebook [Infographic]

10 Ways Ecommerce Brands Can Increase Traffic And Sales With Facebook 1. Use Images Images perform better on Facebook than any other kind of post. Images with context perform EVEN better. Make your images self explanatory or add a text overlay Posts with images get 39% more engagement 2. Sell the lifestyle around your product. … Continue reading 10 Ways Ecommerce Brands Can Increase Traffic And Sales With Facebook [Infographic]

Diet Supplements Referral Program Examples: BikiniBOD

BikiniBOD helps women lose weight and bring out the beauty they have within them. Founded by IFBB Bikini Pro and personal trainer Christie Cash and accomplished beauty industry expert Helen Christoni, BikiniBOD provides women with a go-to supplement for losing weight and keeping healthy. Working with the nutrition industry’s finest formulation scientists, BikiniBOD’s supplements give women what they really want: anti-aging, mental … Continue reading Diet Supplements Referral Program Examples: BikiniBOD

The 4 Fashion Ecommerce Models That Get The Most Traction [Infographic]

Online fashion retail is a huge part of the growing ecommerce pie. There are millions of consumers (and billions more on the way!), and there are thousands of businesses popping up to serve them. Which are the most successful of these businesses? What are the business models that have survived this epic trial-by-fire? Broadly, it … Continue reading The 4 Fashion Ecommerce Models That Get The Most Traction [Infographic]

How Hello Kitty Went From Cute to $7 Billion Cultural Phenomenon

Hello Kitty, the ubiquitous, anthropomorphic white cat produced by Japanese company Sanrio was the quintessential emblem of cute in Japanese popular culture. But by the time she was 40 years old in 2014, Sanrio had groomed her into a global marketing phenomenon worth $7 billion a year. Originally aimed at pre-adolescent females, Hello Kitty’s market … Continue reading How Hello Kitty Went From Cute to $7 Billion Cultural Phenomenon

Sex Tech Is Untapped: These 11 Players Are Trying To Change That

Sex tech is untapped business potential. It doesn’t take an industry expert to observe that sex tech has huge business potential – the internet was basically made for porn. But in case Rule 34 isn’t enough to illustrate our timeless obsession with sex, here are 11 ways sex and tech are canoodling in electrifying ways. (For dramatic comparison, have … Continue reading Sex Tech Is Untapped: These 11 Players Are Trying To Change That

Deconstructing Viral Content: Inside the Minds of Online Content Consumers

As a content marketer, trying to figure out how to create content that your audience will share can be quite a challenge. When it comes to predicting online content consumer behavior, it is always useful to look at past behavior trends. An article by Noah Kagan and Buzzsumo presented stats based on the analysis of over … Continue reading Deconstructing Viral Content: Inside the Minds of Online Content Consumers

Why We Need More Women In Venture Capital

Kirsten Green is an exceptional venture capitalist with a remarkable track record. Not only has she scored in deals like Birchbox, Warby Parker, and Bonobos, she’s also managed to pass on lemons like Fab and ShoeDazzle (according to author Sarah Lacy!). Andy Dunn, CEO of Bonobos, describes her as an investor with unique intuition – … Continue reading Why We Need More Women In Venture Capital

How To Get Customers To Buy: What Influences Buying Decisions?

What are your customers like? If you’re running a business, it’s always important to find out what your customers are like. You should know what they really want, how they make decisions, and what they expect from you. Hubspot featured an infographic by Bigcommerce, highlighting the top 10 factors that influence purchase decisions. It also provided other … Continue reading How To Get Customers To Buy: What Influences Buying Decisions?

How To Create “Earned Media” – Content Marketing In The Age Of Surplus

I read an interesting post by Chad Politt on Social Media Today titled What This Content Marketer Does Is By Far The Most Insane Thing I’ve Seen In My Life. The title is, of course, a jab at the Upworthy-type headlines that have swept across the Internet over the past year. The content marketer’s struggle is … Continue reading How To Create “Earned Media” – Content Marketing In The Age Of Surplus

The Global Ecommerce Expansion Will Change Everything – How China, India And Others Are Doing

Visakan Veerasamy April 22, 2014 1 comment 6 min read   Ecommerce is booming both in and out of the US. It’s pretty incredible stuff, and it feels like nothing in the media so far has properly captured the raw magnitude of it. Entrepreneur.com put together an infographic about it. Business Insider wrote about it, too. And so … Continue reading The Global Ecommerce Expansion Will Change Everything – How China, India And Others Are Doing

How ‘Shitty_Watercolour’ Became So Popular

From boredom and incompetence to Internet celebrity. When he was rejected by his first-choice university, a depressed and bored 19-year-old Hector Janse van Rensburg found an old watercolour paint set. Despite his incompetence, he started publishing watercolor paintings on the internet under the aptly-named pseudonym ‘Shitty_Watercolour’. Over the course of a single year, he found himself … Continue reading How ‘Shitty_Watercolour’ Became So Popular

Veet’s “Don’t Risk Dudeness” ad: Engagement is not a shouting match

Veet’s latest ads have been very poorly received. So recently Veet released its new series of ads, awkwardly titled “Don’t Risk Dudeness” (here’s one from the series). Its tagline: “Feel womanly round the clock”. The ads suggest strongly that a woman is unsightly, even unwomanly, if she doesn’t shave for just one day. They also imply that … Continue reading Veet’s “Don’t Risk Dudeness” ad: Engagement is not a shouting match

Never Alone: How Social Media Changes The Way We Live And Consume

Tonnes of people talk about TV shows on Twitter. I have a confession to make: I never knew how much TV mattered to Americans until I started following a whole bunch of them on Twitter for work-related purposes (read: tactful stalking).  I can literally tell what’s on American TV just by looking at the ReferralCandy … Continue reading Never Alone: How Social Media Changes The Way We Live And Consume

Should You Brand Your Content? Yes, You Should!

Recently, this article on AdAge observed that some brands are so afraid of looking like greedy hard-sellers that they omit branding from their content entirely. But it argues that there’s no use producing great content if you don’t put your name on it. We agree, and here’s why: Content with prominent branding can and does work. … Continue reading Should You Brand Your Content? Yes, You Should!

How To Navigate Social Media Effectively (“It’s not bad, it’s complicated.”)

It’s cool to hate on social media. In Durex’s ad “Turn Off to Turn On“, you’ll see lovers who are more lukewarm than hot and heavy, because they’re too busy social-networking. It’s recommended that we plug out for just an hour, and get it on (with Durex protection, of course). Coca Cola employed this “Social Media … Continue reading How To Navigate Social Media Effectively (“It’s not bad, it’s complicated.”)

Is Advertising Evil? WREN’s “First Kiss” shows us that it doesn’t have to be.

You can’t have missed “First Kiss“, the viral video featuring strangers sharing a kiss on camera. It turns out that it was a commercial for WREN, a women’s clothing company based in Los Angeles. The 20 people in the video were friends of CEO Melissa Coker– actors, models and musicians by trade. Whatever kisses have … Continue reading Is Advertising Evil? WREN’s “First Kiss” shows us that it doesn’t have to be.

How Attention-Minutes Might Alter the Digital Content Landscape

People are sharing stuff without reading it. This doesn’t surprise us at all. In our previous explorations of the nature of social media, we established that the sharing of content on social media is a performative act. We don’t share what we read, we share what we want others to think we read. That’s such a striking fact … Continue reading How Attention-Minutes Might Alter the Digital Content Landscape

Brand Loyalty: Not Dead, Just Different

 Is brand loyalty (almost) dead? Geoffrey James of Inc certainly thinks so. People are loyal to products now, not to brands. Why? Because ubiquitous online reviews have made it incredibly easy for people to safely switch products. When the cost of switching is low, the value of brand loyalty diminishes with it. The landscape brands operate in … Continue reading Brand Loyalty: Not Dead, Just Different

Hardware Referral Program Examples: Saleae Logic Analyzers

Saleae is a firm based in San Francisco that builds logic analyzers. Here’s an entertaining nugget from their About page: “While on a mission to create the iron man suit, the brothers became disgruntled with the state of available logic analyzers.” (Made me think about how SpaceX is making reusable rockets to lower the cost … Continue reading Hardware Referral Program Examples: Saleae Logic Analyzers

Employee Referral Program Examples: Hubspot

The referral program we’re featuring today doesn’t feature a product or service, and doesn’t involve customers. HubSpot uses referrals not for marketing its product, but for recruiting employees. On their ‘Refer a Dev‘ webpage, HubSpot describes how much they love and need awesome software developers. If you refer such a developer to them, and HubSpot ends up … Continue reading Employee Referral Program Examples: Hubspot

SodaStream, Scarlett Johansson and the Streisand Effect

People are always interested in what you’re trying to hide. If you work in marketing, advertising or PR, I think it’s important that you know about the Streisand Effect. (Actually, I think it’s important even if you’re just a casual Internet user, because you never know when you might inadvertently be at the heart of … Continue reading SodaStream, Scarlett Johansson and the Streisand Effect

Sony’s Bottled Walkman: The success of newsworthy advertising.

Sony’s latest ad is incredibly popular, hitting several news sites and reaching the front pages of both Reddit and Hacker News. The result: Lots of views, lots of positive comments, and best of all, people actually acknowledging that the marketing’s worked on them, and that they’re going to consider buying it. Every marketer’s dream. So what should marketers … Continue reading Sony’s Bottled Walkman: The success of newsworthy advertising.

Examples Of Bad Logo Redesign – When Companies Go Ugly

So you’ve been running a business for a while, and things are going well. However, you think your logo might be a little dated, and would like to jazz things up with a new logo design. Should you do it? To consumers, the logo represents the ‘face’ of the company. It communicates the company’s values, history … Continue reading Examples Of Bad Logo Redesign – When Companies Go Ugly

What are we to make of U.S. teenagers’ shopping preferences?

  The teenage market is a lucrative market. At the time of writing, Justin Bieber has 50.9 million Twitter followers, which is 8.4 million more than US President Barack Obama. It’s also a knowably fickle market; teenage tastes change quickly. As Rob Lowe said about Justin Bieber, it’s nothing to do with his actual music– he … Continue reading What are we to make of U.S. teenagers’ shopping preferences?

Who To Follow On Twitter For Ecommerce? – 50 Ecommerce Founders You Should Follow on Twitter

Who should you follow for ecommerce insight on Twitter? So you’ve just gotten into ecommerce, and you’re overwhelmed by all the information available. Who should you listen to? Who should you trust? Anybody working in ecommerce ought to be following the people who’ve walked the walk, and yet I haven’t yet found any satisfactory list … Continue reading Who To Follow On Twitter For Ecommerce? – 50 Ecommerce Founders You Should Follow on Twitter