Archive for the ‘That’s Good Marketing’ Category

eBay Dumps Third Party Checkout

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

http://announcements.ebay.com/2010/08/ebay-checkout-update-for-2011

eBay has announced that third party checkout will be discontinued next June 2011. What does that mean? Well, have you ever bought from an eBay seller, and during the checkout process got dumped on another website to finish your checkout? You'll often see that with sellers who use companies like ChannelAdvisor and Marketworks. I have tended to NOT buy from these sellers for partially that reason. I hate those checkouts.

I'm not the only one. eBay is saying that less than 10% of sales come through third party checkouts, so this doesn't affect most people. I agree. I do a fair amount of shopping and buying on eBay, and I don't see as many checkouts as I used to.

I think this is a good move towards consistency of experience on eBay. We should all go through one checkout, and we should all go through a unified checkout, even if we have bought multiple items from multiple sellers. We are all used to shopping carts and that style of eCommerce. It doesn't make sense for eBay to still make us check out mostly one thing at a time.

So I would say I like the direction in which this is going, but I think it puts pressure on certain outside software companies to offer more value. People used to want those companies partially to have that checkout feature, and that will go away. People might choose third party software based on different criteria, and hopefully those companies will have strong offerings that make what they charge a good value for sellers.

Who do I like right now in third party software? Well, it tends to change based on word on the street and what my clients tell me about their experiences. So right now, I'd pick Vendio, Seller Sourcebook, and Auctiva. For eCommerce, I like Volusion and Magento. And of course, we design for all of these. 😉


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We Design and Customize ChannelAdvisor Stores

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Hey, are you a ChannelAdvisor customer? Yes? Well you're in luck. :) We design and customer CA Stores, both their Basic Store as well as their premium ASP DOT NET Store. Here is a very cool Premium store we did.

http://www.laretrogifts.com

We're all about matching the design to the mood and image you are looking to project. Otherwise, if your designer isn't doing that, he or she probably just stuck your logo up top, or made you a collage. Booo! Demand better! :)

We can get this ready in time for holiday selling, so contact us now for a quote! http://www.aswas.com


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Getting Into ProStores?

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Are you getting into an eBay ProStore (formerly Kurant Stores, years ago)? Well so are we! We will soon be ProStores Certified Designers, so if you are considering a ProStore, let us give you a quote on unique and custom design.

If you already have a ProStore, but want it more customised, or with a fresh look and mood, that's our specialty! Get in touch. We'd love to get your project done ASAP so it's ready in time for your holiday selling!

http://www.aswas.com


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Getting More From Website Design

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

With over 15 years in the biz of designing websites, I can finally put into words how online sellers and businesses can get more from web design and your website designer.

When starting a project, a typical web designer wants to know what you sell, what colour you like, if you have a logo, and a few pictures of what you sell. You typically end up with a website that looks like everybody else's, but with your logo and a few pictures of what you sell slapped up there.

There is a whole other school of thought when it comes to designing websites, and it's often called UX/UI, standing for "user experience/user interface." The idea is that an expert in this area is not just thinking about the layout and design of a website. He or she is taking into consideration…

  • Profiles of typical users/shoppers. Who are these people? What's important to them? Why are they coming to your website?
  • Messaging… what do we need to tell these people and in what order? How do we phrase it so that people have to do the least reading and thinking?
  • Navigation… how will people get around the website? Are you putting a bunch of rows of choices up top and then more down the sides? Does that really work for non-thinkers and non-readers? :) What are fresher and more intuitive ways to plan the navigation?
  • The best in modern design. Boxy websites with heaps of columns and dizzying home pages seem so 2002. There are better ways to design now. You don't need to settle for the same old ways, which I think for the most part don't really work for how people surf the web and how people think.

As a UX/UI expert, I think bringing in someone like me bring a whole other dimension to your website. It will help it stand out, and be easier to use. The less time people spend thinking and reading, the more important it is to have a website that is easy and obvious to use. It's more important to have a home page that makes sense, connects with your audience, and projects the most important messages in ways that make sense to your shopper.

You have such little time to make an impression on people, and technology is getting wackier… I see more and more sites using Flash while Apple is blocking Flash on everything. So if you build something in Flash, you've just kissed off everybody who might hit your site from an iPad, iPhone, or iPod as well as most mobile phones.

A UX/UI person is dedicated to making something truly work for your business. A website designer (typically) wants to take what you already have, throw it together, and get it online. It's often not very creative, and often doesn't take "deeper" ideas into account, like how your shopper is likely to behave, where your shoppers eyes will naturally go, and what messages your shopper needs in what order. A website designer typically does what you say whereas a UX/UI person is often in more of a consulting and expert role. It's not that I don't do what you say, but it's more of a relationship where the client knows they are coming to me to take advantage of my years of expertise and experience.

If you'd like a quote on some really special website work, please get in touch with us at http://www.aswas.com.


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Get Professional Web and eCommerce Design Now!

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Holiday selling is coming up soon. It's a GREAT time to be redesigning your website or eCommerce shop with a look that's uniquely yours. You can even be setting up your own website now. Why not drive all your traffic to your own store!

We at As Was have been building websites and designing online stores since 1995. Hey, we do this! And we're ready to start projects right away. Jump in now, and contact us about getting your own website custom designed.

http://www.aswas.com


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Why I’m Off Twitter

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

As of a few months ago, I'm pretty much off Twitter. I still have accounts. Some still have feeds going to them. But I haven't posted anything. I check maybe once a week to see if anybody has @ me. I'll respond to a direct message because I get an email. But that's it.

What happened?

Facebook. Let me explain.

Let's say I post an eBay selling tip to Twitter. If someone responds to it, I don't know about it. You didn't see her response. She didn't see your response. It's not threaded or logical in any way. It's really disjointed. And since I have no idea either of you responded anything, I haven't responded either.

I used to live in front of a Twitter app, waiting for someone to respond so I could respond right back. And it just wasn't happening. It was disjointed. Some people responded days later. It didn't seem like a conversation anymore. And when people do respond, you're like, "What are they responding to? I don't even remember."

Facebook has that mostly solved. When I post something, and you respond, I get an email. When someone else responds, it's there under what I said and what you said… so it's linear and logical. You can respond to my other friends. They see what you said. It's more like a conversation.

I think that building communities is about having that conversation. Facebook lets that happen. Twitter seems to be more of a broadcast, a shouting out there through a toilet paper roll, and not really knowing if anybody says anything back.

So I think I'm done with Twitter. I can't make time for it. I'm having quality interactions on Facebook, both on friends' walls and on business/fan pages. My time is best spent where I'm finding quality interactions. So is yours. :)


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Design Deadline For Holiday Selling

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Every year, people come to us in October, and want us to do our fantastic eBay listing templates in time for holiday selling. By then, it's really too late for our work to help your holiday selling. Why? Because many or our projects take about a month. All of our design work is custom and from scratch. We don't do the same thing for everybody. You don't get the same layout with a few pictures of what you sell thrown in as some sort of header collage.

Every project at As Was starts with a long phone call about your company's image, mood, and personality. We design from that. Hey, it just takes time to go back and forth with you, perfect it, prepare it, and get it into your software for listing. It can easily take a few weeks.

That's why contacting us in October is really too late. We can't guarantee that your project will be ready. If you are busy with your holiday selling already, you may not get back to us quickly when we need to hear from you… and then project could drag on as we wait for your feedback.

Start now!

In reality, the best time to start is now. Holiday selling for many of our clients seems to start in September. If you want a fresh design to be ready for September, we really should get started now!

Hit http://www.aswas.com for more info, or contact us (through the website) if you need more info or newer examples of our work. Most of our projects start within 1 business day of when you sign our contract, so we're ready when you are!


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Why I Wear (Wore) Skates At Conferences

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Some people know me as the girl on skates. When I attend an event, everybody asks where the skates are.

That's good marketing. You remember me for something, and you feel positively about it. You don't hate me for wearing skates. It's like a good logo or slogan. It helps you remember me.

And given that I'm talking about marketing, having something that anchors me in your head in a good way… well, that's great marketing.

The skates are awesome. If you want your own pair, find them here. http://www.skorpion.com/multi-terrain/intro_3.htm

But I will not be bringing them to conferences anymore. Why not? Two main reasons.

First, they are 10 pounds. With airlines now charging for checked baggage, these guys add significant weight, and I may incur a charge. And man, they take up room in my luggage. So that's tough.

Second, every time I put them on, someone asked me to take them off because I'm some sort of safety risk, fire hazard, or insurance evil. I can't have the marketing effect I want if I am not wearing them.

So I'm switching to new footwear that you can associate with me. Starting at Dev Con last week, I wore my black 20-hole Dr Martens boots. They look like this http://www.drmartens.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=10070001 and come up nearly to my knees.

I was the girl in the skates, and now I'll be the girl in the boots. Look for me!!!


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Join Our Live Radio Show and Podcast

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Just about every Thursday, we do a live internet radio show. Who is we? Me (Debbie Levitt) and eBay seller Bryan Goodman aka Mister Bigfoot.

It's called Online Marketing Brains, and you can find out radio page at www.onlinemarketingbrains.info. Our topics tend to be about eBay and online selling, marketing, product sourcing, shipping, eBay rules, and more.

So tune in every Thursday at 1pm east coast time for an hour-long show. If you're online, join us in the chat room to ask your questions or throw in your ideas. If you can't join us live, visit our show page to download our podcasts of past shows.

This week's show will be my wrap-up of eBay Dev Con as well as my review of the new HTC Evo 4G cell phone.


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eBay Developer Conference

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

People, get the eBay Developer Conference in your calendar. Well, it's not the best event for sellers. But if you are a programmer, you should be there.

eBay has a lot of areas where people and companies can build applications for eBay buyers and sellers. You've got PayPal. You've got the eBay Partner Network, which is an affiliate system. You have eBay's API. Open eBay (formerly Project Echo and formerly Selling Manager Apps) lets you build Facebook-style apps for people on the eBay site.

And let's not forget all the possibilities for mobile applications… Blackberry, Android, iPhone, and other mobile apps. Oh I guess I should say iPad, though you know I'm no fan. :)

So next year, get to eBay Dev Con to learn of the opportunities out there for developers!


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