Internet Marketing and the Reinfusion of Humanity

Selling on the Internet has often removed a very crucial element from the buying experience – humanity. It is easy to log on, peruse an ecommerce site and escape unnoticed. That is, in fact, the appeal of most online stores. Consumers like the opportunity to look without buying or buy without the long speeches and quality assurances offered from slick haired salesmen.

That being said, the consumer still misses some kind of interaction especially when it comes to a product or service they are most interested in. They may still buy online, but they may feel that something is missing and never fully be able to explain what that missing element may be.

This brings me to social media. We gravitate toward those who share similar beliefs, similar interests or shared pasts. Every day people are finding connections with those they haven’t heard from or about in decades. Others are mobilizing for a cause or a leader in expressing their ideas and dreams.

Why not access the same technology to mobilize your customers and infuse some humanity into the buying process.

Consider some of the following ideas that may make your marketing strategy more human.

Blogs – These can allow you to provide direct input for consumers. They can read a well-defined post from you by visiting your site or using an RSS (Real Simple Syndication) reader. Your expertise adds a human face to your product.

Customer Feedback – This can allow customers to inform others about the service and value they receive from your company. Even if you have a negative comment from time to time it demonstrates the honest to goodness humanity of your business.

Forums – This allows consumers to have direct interaction with other consumers. Many will come to your forum because of genuine interest while others may come to cause trouble. Make sure you have moderators that can help keep the troublemakers to a minimum.

Ezines – This is a tool you can use to help lead your consumer base in a direction that will be mutually beneficial. This should be packed with information and resources that remains a valuable tool in human relations.

This may sound as if it is an endorsement for niche marketing. I suppose in a sense it is. You see, when it comes to an online business you can afford to fill a very specific niche. The reason this is true is there are many more potential consumers that are online as opposed to those only found in your immediate vicinity.

If you can come up with solutions and information for your niche audience you may find that your humanity and their motivation can make a more successful online business than a more general interest retail store located in a storefront on your local Main Street.

When you are viewed as a cutting edge niche marketer you may find that you gain the trust of those who have always wanted the kinship of others who share their passion for the product or service you sell.

Accept their trust in good faith and lead wisely.

Ecommerce – Discovering Life’s Best Rewards

We’ve all seen those rewards based credit cards. You know, the kind where you spend a dollar and you get a free airline mile or you get cash back whenever you use the credit card. Some even offer points redeemable for actual merchandise.

Did you know that the individuals who gravitate toward reward-based credit cards might be the same individuals who develop their own online business?

When it comes to ecommerce there is a strong desire to access personal rewards.

Think about it this way – in a typical 9 to 5 job there is very little personal reward for exceptional work ethics and there’s very little penalty for weak work ethics. In most cases even those who try to do their best often feel forgotten when there is little reward for an amazing effort or result.

Some will even say they have gotten little more than an ‘atta-boy’ or ‘atta-girl’ for developing something that either saved the company significant money or brought in more work.

You see, while the world around you becomes more attuned to rewarding effort or loyalty it becomes harder to live within a framework where it seems inequity breeds inequity.

When a burgeoning entrepreneur begins to unfold the prevailing ideas surrounding a personal business they often see it filled with the potential for rewards. Yes, there are multiple risks involved, but for many the real risk may be in simply surviving in a job where they feel as if they will never experience the thrill of reward.

I do think traditional business is trying to involve their employees in the reward process, but many have been slow to develop meaningful rewards for employees.

Interestingly there are many online businesses that are a sideline for an otherwise full time employee. These forays into online business may provide enough reward to allow the individual to remain employed outside his or her online business pursuits. It could also be the catalyst to move that individual into full time online business.

Individuals are exploring options and opportunities to push forward with their dreams. The motivation is rewards – not just a paycheck, not just job stability, but rewards for a job well done and for goal advancement.

It could be that by exceeding personal online sales goals you might be able to reward yourself with a new purchase or a short trip away. It’s possible a reward could be as simple as music downloads you’ve been wanting or a new grownup toy.

It is amazing how motivational the idea of rewards can be to an individual who may be languishing in the subtle inference that they should just be happy they have a job. Business owners may not phrase it that way, but many employees don’t really feel that they are valued. Perhaps you can understand why. A credit card company will reward them for making a purchase and a business owner usually won’t extend a meaningful reward for positive contributions to the success of the company.

Online business continues to be the place where dissatisfied employees are discovering some of life’s best rewards.

Tackle the E-Commerce Website Usability Qualms

Virtual market was never scarcely populated, but thanks to advancements like Zen cart eCommerce, magneto eCommerce development and likes, the zone now is certainly crowded. The crowd however is not making money. There are abundant reasons for this, but as the scope of this article is limited, let’s zero down on one of the most critical aspects and that is the E commerce cart usability.

With various possible ways one can attract traffic and even induce an initial purchase, however if the eCommerce store is not a convenient buy option or is not easy to use, it will repeal buys. The idea is pretty straight forward. Consider a situation where to buy an electronics item, you log onto a relatively new eCommerce website you have heard about. The home page is stuffed with product pictures and descriptions of all kinds and scrolling through all of it obviously seems a pain. But then it is justified, I mean naturally if there are so many products to be sold, the details will be posted. However, while this “seemingly natural” situation is defensible from the owner’s perspective, as a buyer you are all lost in the maze.

The situation further worsens, if the search box is not placed right above the fold. The sophisticated eCommerce design then seems totally redundant and the whole task of eCommerce website development fails to generate any returns. Despite putting in a diligent effort and thus making use of high tech shopping cart systems the php eCommerce development based website or Magneto eCommerce development driven online store or Zen cart eCommerce website fails to deliver.

How to Define Usability?

An eCommerce website design is considered usable if

1.It is easy to explore – it is not a puzzle a buyer is here to solve. The motive is shopping and shopping should always be easy and quick and fun. Nobody is interested in getting lost while attempting to navigate the path leading to the desired item. Breadcrumb navigation along with the requisite heads and sub heads is the solution.

2.It saves time and is convenient – An online store, which during the final stages of checkout displays the message ‘out of stock’ is certainly frustrating. Likewise unnecessary pop-ups and adverts are a turn-off.

3.It communicates security and trust – this is critical for a non branded set-up. Zen cart eCommerce is a fantastic open source platform and many are making use of this software to create shopping carts however, a user is not able to trust all. To foster this trust level few measures like placing trust certifications, portraying security badges and thus conveying security concerns are pertinent.

4.It is extremely straight and clear on the price aspect – You cannot trick and confuse a buyer more than one singular time, so don’t waste time and resources on anything like magneto eCommerce development, if this is the focus. An eCommerce website design is usable if it clearly elucidates the item’s net price along with all possible add-one like shipping charges, volume discounts, etc.