Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Six Reasons Why New Google™ Shopping Is GOOD for eCommerce Merchants

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Google’s recent announcement on their plans to convert Google™ Shopping from a free Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE) to a paid service has created concern and confusion for many merchants. While the initial reactions have been mixed, there is an opportunity to increase sales to your store by using Product Listing Ads.

In business, you often hear the phrase “You have to pay to play.”  Basically, that’s what Google is saying. Every time your Product Listing Ad is clicked, you will have to pay a cost-per-click.

Product Listing Ads (shown below on the right) are expected to replace current results on Google Shopping by October, so don’t wait to get up-to-speed on what is in the works.

Examples of Product Listing Ads are on the right. Currently, images, product information and prices are pulled from the Google Merchant Center Product Feed and the promotional text is pulled from a Google AdWords account. The new Google Shopping will soon contain Product Listing Ads all over the page and advertisers will have to have an AdWords account to show the images.

Here’s why Google Shopping as a Paid Product listing ad service is a good option for Merchants:

1. Many merchants may elect not to participate in these new changes.

Many of your competitors may choose to not participate in this change, giving you a chance to get ahead of your competitors.

2. Merchants will now have more control over where their products show up in the Google Shopping results.

Instead of relying on Google to decide where your products will be displayed, you will now have bidding power to control your products’ placement. Google will still base searches on relevancy in conjunction with bid optimizations.  This means that merchants will have the ability to potentially show up in top spots where they may not have been before.

3. Promotional Text

Creating a promotion to include in your Product Listing Ads will motivate shoppers to click on your ad, drive sales and make your ad stand out. Say something such as “Free Shipping with Code: dad10” or “Made in America; Support Small Business!” to really engage shoppers.  Merchants are now able to create their own promotional text. In the past, Google pulled the text from your data feed, which did not give you a chance to create your own promotion.

4. Select Best Performing Products

You can start as big or small as you’d like!  You don’t have to target all your products on Google Shopping anymore.  Now that it’s a paid model, you can select your best-performing products, brands or categories in the beginning to see which are the best performing in driving new sales.

5. Leverage Google’s Integration of PPC with Google Shopping

Use this change as an opportunity to dive into the Pay-per-click (PPC) realm. Maybe you’ve only advertised on Google Shopping before, but never actually showed targeted ads on Google’s search result pages. To use Google Product Listing Ads, Google needs you to open an AdWords account and begin using Product Listing Ads. There are a lot of eyes on PPC text and image ads on, Google’s Search Partners and the Google Display Network. Start using targeted keyword phrases and ads to capture qualified traffic in those places, too.  You’ll likely find out there are a lot more customers who want your products, but never used Google Shopping before, and will now find your products easily.

6. An incentive to try it now!

Google is offering a discount to incent merchants to try out Product Listing Ads. The offer is 10% off clicks for the remainder of 2012. This is an awesome incentive since it will last through the holidays’ high volume season. But hurry, to obtain this offer, merchants must sign up by August 15, 2012.

Of course, if you have questions as you sort through the process, the Internet Marketing team at Solid Cactus is here to help, so don’t be shy.

Happy Googling!

Donna Werts

Start the year off right

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

As a business owner, was one of your resolutions to provide better customer service? What are your plans to do so? When do you plan on implementing these strategies?

In today’s economy, it is imperative that you go above and beyond for your customers. If you don’t, your competition will. They will then be enjoying your revenue. So here are some tips to help you get 2012 off to a great start!

  1. If you list your hours as 9-5, be available from 9-5. The last thing your customer wants, when they are ready to give you money, is to leave a voicemail.
  2. Where is your phone number? It should be listed on your header where your customers can find it easily. Why? Because it instills confidence in your customers.
  3. Provide as many ways as possible for your customers to contact you. Some may prefer to call you, some to chat, some to email. Give them what they want.
  4. Most importantly, provide them what you promise. If you say that you will contact them back within an hour, do that. If you say that a product will ship the next business day, make sure it ships the next business day.

It is always better to over deliver than to disappoint! Your customers and your business will thank you.

Please remember, that we always provide free customer service consultations. If you are interested in having your policies reviewed by our expert staff, please give me a call at 888-361-9814 ext. 7172.

Donna Werts

Do you need a call center?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I am sure some of you think that having a call center’s assistance is out of your budget but have you researched it? Fact is, hiring a call center is less costly than hiring in-house and does give you the appearance of being a bigger company than you are. It also allows you freedom to focus on your business instead of answering the phone. Here are some signs that you should look into signing on with a customer support service like ours:

  1. Are you hiding or not placing a toll free number, on your site, to avoid customer calls?
  2. If you have a number, is it a regional number? This can make you appear like a small business or even unprofessional. This can make potential customers uneasy and reluctant to shop with you. Lost revenue is NOT an option.
  3. If you have a toll free number, where does it go?
    • Voicemail?
    • Who is answering? Do they care if your customers are happy?
  4. Do you have the time to answer your phones? Do you have children? How about your family life in general? Do you want to leave your office at 5?
  5. Are you thinking about extending your business hours?
  6. Do you have the time to manage your chat? Is it offline more times than not?
  7. Do you have the time to manage your emails effectively?
  8. Do you have the time to actually take care of your customers that calls in? Are you being interrupted because you are trying to do it all yourself?

If you answered yes to even one of the preceding questions, you need help!

Coupled with meticulous marketing investments, call center services can assist you in achieving the financial freedom you seek.

September Solid Cactus eCommerce release advances merchant abilities

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

The Solid Cactus development team has been working on new and exciting ways to improve the usability and value of your Solid Cactus eCommerce store. This September release includes merchant requested changes, such as multiple unsubscribes, easier product duplication and a media library to benefit all Solid Cactus eCommerce & Cactus Connect users.

Multiple Unsubscribescreenshot_september_release

A highly anticipated feature for many merchants, the multiple unsubscribe. When a user subscribes to one autoresponder they can be set to automatically unsubscribe to others, giving greater marketing control. For example, a prospective customer receives autoresponders from two different campaigns, one as a prospective customer and another targeting location. The customer makes the purchase of a hat and is then unsubscribed from the previous autoresponder campaigns and added to a new autoresponder for customers who have purchased hats.

Media Library connection
Cactus Connect merchants can now take advantage of the Media Library that all Solid Cactus eCommerce merchants already enjoy. Now Cactus Connect merchants can host crucial content to a media library to easily spice up emails with images, now linked from their own library! Multiple file types are supported including jpeg, gif, pdf and zip files.

Updated ‘save as new’
‘Save as new’ product button now saves all fields to the new product. Previously only basic information was saved, such as product name and SKU. Now thanks to merchant requests, creating duplicate products is even easier, with all product options and forms guaranteed to be saved as well.