If you own or manage an online store, I encourage you to read my latest article, “The 12 E-Commerce Tips of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa,” which appears in Ecommerce-Guide.com.

As I wrote in the article, the news this holiday season isn’t all bad, at least for e-tailers. According to a recent survey conducted by the e-tailing group, this holiday season more shoppers plan to do their gift buying online instead of in stores. That said, though, this year’s holiday shoppers are more discerning than in years past, looking for convenience, value and time savings (though not necessarily the least expensive price tag).

So to help you get a piece of the online sales action this holiday season, I interviewed several e-marketing experts and online business owners to come up with their top 12 tips. Some of them, you may already be doing; the rest, well, now may be the time to start. (I particularly liked the tips about using mobile marketing, #4, and sharing the e-commerce love, #12.)

If you have additional tips you’d like to share, just leave me a comment.

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While perusing Ecommerce-Guide.com earlier today, I came across this story on CafePress and similar sites that provide on-demand printing of logos/designs on a variety of items, including clothing, stationery, posters, stickers, buttons, and mugs.

As the author, Aaron Weiss, explains, “You create and upload graphic designs, which CafePress will print on products as they are ordered by customers.” And “because you don’t need to maintain any inventory or pay for products that may not sell, there is very little financial risk as a seller in the on-demand model,” he writes. The tradeoff, however, “is that your profit margin may be quite slim, too.”

Still, for small and mid-sized business owners looking to create and sell branded items on the cheap, particularly for the holidays (and to give away at trade shows and meetings) CafePress — and its competitors, which include Zazzle and Spreadshirt.

For more on this topic, do check out the article on Ecommerce-Guide.com, titled “CafePress Creates Cash for the Casual Online Seller” (both of which I link to, above).

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Posted on November 4, 2008
Filed Under (Ecommerce, Marketing, Web Design) by jennifer

Despite the recent, sharp downtown in the economy, many experts say now is not the time to cut back on search engine marketing (SEM) and optimization (SEO). In fact, with online shoppers saying they plan on cutting back on spending this holiday season, now may be the perfect time for you to optimize your site to attract every prospective customer you can and keep your current customers coming back for more. Best of all, optimizing your site, giving it a pre-holiday facelift, needn’t be expensive or time consuming. And the return on your investment could (and should) more than offset the cost.

Just talk to Sherry Comes, the founder and CEO of CoffeeCakes.com, and she will tell you that if she knew a year ago what she knows now, that redesigning CoffeeCakes.com to make it more attractive to the major search engines and to prospective customers would increase sales by more than 50 percent (over the previous year) almost instantly, she would have done it a year ago.

Yet Comes, who is no stranger to technology (as the CTO of a Fortune 500 company in a parallel life), put off redesigning her site for years 13, to be exact.

To learn more about CoffeeCakes.com’s SEO-focused redesign and get some great time- and money-saving tips on how you can optimize and freshen up your site to attract more search engine traffic, visitors, and sales this holiday season (and long after), check out my article, “Incorporating Site Optimization into Your Redesign,” in Ecommerce-Guide.com.

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