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Posts Tagged ‘e-tailer’

Solicit and Listen – Customer Feedback is critical to business success

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Clip noteSocial media was the craze of 2009 and will only continue to gain ground in 2010. Blogging about your product and/or service is an incredible way to promote your business or product. While customers and passersby can comment on blog entries or Tweet their favorites, how do you convert the blog commenter into a devoted and loyal customer for future success?

As a business owner, you need to provide easy to use feedback tools to ensure that you are in touch with your customers (and would-be customers) and frequently and consistently responding to their needs. This entails listening to comments and being able to categorize them and REACT. There are a variety of tools available (some such asCrowdsound, RatePoint, Yelp) but do these sites bring traffic back to your site? Some do, but some are a link off with minimal options to react to comments. In a previouspost by DojoMike:  customers are sometimes reluctant to provide feedback (positive or negative).

To maintain an open dialog with customers and encourage feedback, the comment avenue needs to be easy to use and promote responses from the merchant/business owner. As a business owner, you also need to be able to solicit feedback and react to it, professionally. If a negative comment comes through, don’t ignore it, you need to respond and make changes that address the issue. At a minimum, sending an email to a customer who recently bought an item from your online store is an easy avenue to inquire if the ordering process was seamless and also to ask for website suggested changes or product improvements. The more you ask a customer for their input, the more likely they will become a repeat customer AND tell their friends about your site and excellent customer service.

At KikScore, we have created a feedback tool within the KikScore seal itself. Comments that are posted here are sent directly to merchants to review and respond. These comments are also available for all to see that are reviewing that site’s KikScore Seal.

How do you solicit feedback from customers? What do you do with the feedback you get? Do you have any feedback/suggestions for KikScore? Please share with us!

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Posts Tagged ‘e-tailer’

A Small Business Discussion with Oregon Seafoods' Rick Shoop

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Crab2

KikScore likes to profile small businesses from around the world so that our readers can learn from other small businesses.  In this post we interview Rick Shoop the owner of Oregon Seafood.  Rick is a passionate small businessperson who has a wide range of interests and a number of small business endeavors in action right now.  This interview came out of Kikscore coming across Oregon Seafoods on Twitter which within about 15 minutes led to a great 30 minute Sunday afternoon conversation.

1. Tell us about Oregon Seafood and who you focuses on serving? ~

Oregon Seafood is a retail seafood market in Hillsboro Oregon. We almost went out of business a few months ago. I had to do something. I turned to the internet to educate myself. I learned the real world is indeed in the toilet. See this video as an example of how the recession has impacted employment by county.  As you can see the decline of our Nation. It is very scary. However, I also learned there are people making money online hand over fist. So I spent the next 3 months in study. I learned just how to locally target my market and as of today my Seafood Market is doing very well. To see just how I did this, I am creating a series of videos explaining the process. I have the first two drafts here for review. More to come. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

2. Where will Oregon Seafood focus most of its energy in 2010?

Local marketing and adding global marketing type products to seel off the website.

3. If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what are those?

Be willing to change.  Always look at your business in a new way.

4. As 2009 closes, what do you see as 2 new trends in your business this year?

I think it’s a world wide trend. People are buying online more now than ever. We need to monitize this trend.

5. If your business/store could be any movie or movie character, what movie would it be and why?

Dare Devil. Instead of following most small business into the OUT OF BUSINESS trend. We Dared to change our antiquated methods and adapt to the future.

6. If you could buy a potential customer a drink, what drink would it be?

Cup of Coffee so we can be friends.

7. While having that drink with the potential customer, what would you like to talk about with them?

What makes them unique as a business and a person.

8. Do you have any parting thoughts?

Eat Healthy, Eat Seafood. Visit some of my other sites. I build WordPress Blogs and also am a Graphic Artist. Here are some of my other sites.  I encourage everyone to please check them out.

Let us know your thought on this interview of Rick Shoop from Oregon Seafoods.

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Posts Tagged ‘e-tailer’

Diary of a Tech Start-Up: Disagreement Over Product Features

Friday, November 13th, 2009
Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

If you’re doing a start-up with other people, I guess it’s unavoidable to have disagreements with your team. If you’re lucky, the biggest disagreements center around where to go for happy hour. Personally, I like Chili’s. I know it’s not necessarily cool, but the chips and salsa is really good (very salty chips) and the margaritas are big (and unlike I’ve mentioned in previous postings, the glasses are very easy to hold onto). It’s also very unlikely that you’ll run into your competitors at Chili’s — as these weak-kneed companies can’t buck peer pressure and social convention and won’t be caught dead there.

Recently, our team has been caught up in a larger kerfuffle.  It centers around how we promote and/or explain the shopper experience that can be expected on our customer sites — via a numeric score. Some of the customer feedback is the concern that shoppers may equate an 820 (which is a really high score) with a “low B” rating (which would get you valedictorian status at my high school).

A contingent of our team believes that, because we already spell out the guidance of the numerical rating (“great experience”, “good experience” and “poor experience” expected), to remove customer confusion, we could eliminate the actual score. Other team members argue that the numeric rating shows the precision and sophistication of our scoring model (see posting on our algorithm), and it is something that our customers need to accept.  Take a look at one of our customer’s sites, at www.17thandriggs.com to see the current version of the user experience.

We’re working through how to please all the team members, but this disagreement doesn’t seem to have a clear mid-point. I guess that’s the point of working with the right team. If everyone has an opportunity to express their views, whether the decision goes the way a particular team member wants really isn’t important. It’s that there’s an underlying level belief that ultimately, with enough deliberation, the group can reach the best decision for the business and the customer.

On the other hand, instead of thoughtful deliberation, we’re also thinking of implementing Mixed Martial Arts in our team meetings. I may have a bit of a paunch, but I have a pretty good reach.

Feel free to give us your opinion in the comments below on your feedback on this issue.

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Posts Tagged ‘e-tailer’

E-Tailers: This Holiday Season Use Facebook and Twitter as Your Online Mall

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Most people can’t stand the malls around the holidays. Too many people and too little parking spaces help keep shoppers away from the malls not only on Black Friday but throughout the holiday season.  Increasingly where have some of these shoppers turned for their holiday shopping instead of going to the mall?  Well with the mass of online shopping that gets going now on Cyber Monday and continues through the holidays, online shopping has created a great alternative to those people who want to avoid the crowds.

So what is different this year than previous years when it comes to online shopping and targeting these shoppers for our online store?  Unlike last year, many of the online shoppers now are on Twitter and Facebook and other social media and networking sites.  This creates a great opportunity for e-retailers and their online stores. But you have to have a strategy and be relentless about executing on that strategy to take advantage of this new trend.  Here are some helpful tips to get you going so you can turn all those shoppers that are using Twitter, Facebook and other sites into paying customers.

1. Join and Listen. If you are not already on Twitter and Facebook, join these sites or the social networking sites where your customers and potential customers are at. Once you join, start actively listening to conversations on these sites. The better you listen the more effective this type of social customer research will be for your small business.

2. Use Search Terms. Based on your research, use Twitter and Facebook to try to set up search terms (especially with Twitter) that relate to both your business and products that you sell. TweetDeck is a tool that you can use for your business to set up and track search terms across all conversations that are on Twitter. It is a really powerful tool. So for example, if you sell rugs at PlazaRugs.com like a former colleague of mine Andy Ketter you would want to set up in TweetDeck search columns related to “rugs” and maybe even certain brand name rugs.  This will help you track the conversations that are going on that may relate to your product or service that your business offers.

3. Quickly Act on Mentions.  The key to using Twitter and Facebook effectively here is that when someone mentions one of your search terms (i.e. products/services) during a conversation that occurs in the greater community on Twitter, Facebook or another site, you act quickly to join the conversation and even make contact with that person inquiring about a product you may carry or service you perform. Once you make contact with that person by sending a tweet to them, you can engage in a conversation with someone in the online mall.  You can even try to recommend your product or service if the shopper is inquiring on Twitter or Facebook about who sells a particular product that is similar to yours.

4. How it plays out. The best way to demonstrate this is through an example.  So if your online store sells  any and all types of T-shirts related to beautiful Cleveland, Ohio, you can try search terms that relate to “Cleveland”, T-Shirts”, and “Funny T-Shirts.”  So when someone in a Twitter conversation tweets, “I am looking for a funny t-shirt.” or when someone on Facebook updates their status and says “Wish I could find a funny t-shirt about my dad’s hometown in Cleveland.”, you can join the conversation and casually (now don’t be too pushy) suggest that they check out your store for a t-shirt that has a picture of the year Cleveland Browns won the Super Bowl…..that is funny because it never happened and will likely never happen in any Cleveland fans’ lifetime. Or maybe you sell them a picture of when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire just outside of Cleveland…

So there you have it. Start using Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites this holiday season so you can be in the right place at the right time in the online mall.  In the end the sheer volume of shoppers who are in the online mall on Twitter and Facebook will present a unique sales opportunity this holiday season for your store that did not exist last year.  You just need to have the tools set up so you can a) know where your potential customers are at; b) quickly act when these leads suggest in their online conversations interest in products or services you offer; and c)  turning your interactions with these leads into holiday sales!

Tell us how you plan to use Twitter and Facebook this holiday season for your business.

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Posts Tagged ‘e-tailer’

Sell Online? Signup for KikScore 's Free Beta Service

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Try KikScore Free

We here at KikScore want to help small e-tailers and online merchants succeed by selling more.  So we launched a new product late last month that allows small online businesses the ability to demonstrate to online shoppers that their business is trustworthy, reliable and has a trackrecord of success.

How does demonstrating trust help your store out?  Shoppers often look for signs of trust before they buy from an online store. (We discussed this issue here and here previously)  So why not give those shoppers information that directly relates to how trustworthy your business is.

The KikScore service allows you to take both publicly available information and verified information about your business and directly display it to online shoppers on your website.   The information is displayed through a dynamic KikScore seal that is continually being updated.  And even better, all of that information then gets scored and you can display your trust score to your shoppers.  Its like presenting shoppers a continually updated report card about your business. Now, just like in the 6th grade, you can get cash from more customers, in return for your good report card!

Sign Up Information

Please try us out. The service is free for a limited time.  Don’t worry, we will give you at least 60 days notice before we start to to charge for the product and you can cancel at any time.  You can sign up your business here.

Its a no lose situation for you business.  Try out our FREE service that allows your store to demonstrate trust so you can increase sales.

Examples of Some Merchants Using KikScore Seals

If you are wondering how the KikScore seal looks.  Here are three sites that are using the seal:

Interactive Security Group (KikScore’s parent company)

Tuftedtopper.com

17thandRiggs.com

Click here for a free sign ups for the KikScore service.  And come back and tell us what you think in the comments. Also check out the new KikScore video!

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Posts Tagged ‘e-tailer’

Black Friday Is Coming

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

No Black Friday is not every Friday during the NFL Football season before yet another Cleveland Browns loss. If you are an online retailer, you really know what Black Friday is and what it means for your business.  We at KikScore wanted to pass along this very good article on dealing with shopping cart abandonment before Black Friday.  Some interesting statistics from the article are:

  • Shopping cart abandonment can result in a loss of 70% of a merchant’s potential sales.
  • Merchants that take steps to proactively address shopping cart abandonment by re-marketing to shoppers who abandon their shopping cart can recoup up to 50 percent of the losses from those abandonments
  • SeeWhy’s Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Charles Nicholls says that if you re-market through email within hours of the shopper’s abandonment,  merchants can get up to a fifty percent checkout rate on those abandonments

With Black Friday coming, the lesson learned is if you can take proactive steps to address those shopping cart abandonments through re-marketing, you can turn those abandonments into conversions.  That will make Black Monday much better than Orange and Brown Sundays after another Cleveland Browns loss!!!!

Tell us if you have any ideas or suggestions for addressing shopping cart adandonment in the comments.

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Posts Tagged ‘e-tailer’

WSJ Article — Online Reviews Suffer From Grade Inflation

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

A recent Wall Street Journal Article examined a troubling trend with online shopping reviews — that these reviews benefit from higher grade inflation than a star power forward at Duke.  As Geoffrey Fowler and Joesph De Avila write, the average review given is 4.3/5 stars.  There are a handful of explanations offered for this trend, including  psychological – people are more likely to remember positive experiences.  But the most interesting reason offered is that critical reviews are removed from the calculation and reviewers are repeatedly critical are barred from some sites.  While this practice definitely skews the reliability of these reviews, I’m sure it’s similar to the corrective action taken when a rogue Spanish professor tries to fail that same Duke power forward for skipping language lab.  It’s simply not going to happen — or if it does happen, that Spanish professor will not be teaching at Duke very long.

Back to the point.  While shopper/user reviews can be very helpful, if the grade inflation persists, they will just become an empty marketing tool.  Continuing the academia analogy, using these inflated reviews to make shopping decisions (and who to share your personal information with) will be like getting a medical referral from the hacky-sack playing hippie who is in the 7th year of his Pre-Med undergrad.  I’ll go easy on our product pitch, but the ability for these reviews to be marked up (or less than objective) was a big motivation to create KikScore.  More on that later.  Until then, let’s all start providing realistic shopper reviews.

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