of the retailers express some concern over the effect their blogs will
have on the bottom-line. Since the blogs include links off to other
sites, their marketing gurus feel it will lead readers away rather than
driving traffic to their ecommerce sites. Thatâ€™s a valid point, since
the primary purpose of the blogs is marketing and driving sales.
One retailer questioned the appropriateness of putting product links
inside the blog posts. A quick review of all three blogs showed they
each did, with Ice primarily using hyperlinked images of its products
to draw visitors in.
Another retailer not mentioned in the article, Stone Creek Coffee, has also just added a blog. From what I can tell, the blog is part of their home page.
Bluefly asserts that their blog
has had a positive effect on sales, even stating that visitors who
click to the blog â€œhave been more likely to make a purchase than those
who visit Bluefly directly.â€? I think they call that â€œqualified
traffic,â€? which is certainly one thing a blog can do for you.
Here are some random thoughtsâ€¦
as a marketing channel will vastly increase in popularity over the next
few months. I congratulate retailers such as these who are willing to
lead the way.
- Yes, definately include links to products in the blog posts. Thatâ€™s why you have the darn thing anyway!
than giving readers a sales pitch, tell a story. Talk about the
experience of using the product. Refer to other related articles found
on the web and work a product link in. Do what eHobbies does in showing
photos of their employees having fun playing with products.
blogs are going to prove themselves as viable marketing tools, then
itâ€™s imperative there be some system in place to track their
effectiveness. That should be a given and not something difficult to
do. After all, blogs are just a website and you can track statistics
about site visits, referers and page views, have unique URLs for each
product which can be tracked through to the ecommerce site and on
through to purchase, and track movement from the blog to the main site
I contend that, though blogs are not for the faint of heart,
they will prove themselves to have viability for retail marketing. In
an ideal scenario the benefits they provide will occur in sequence:
niche-driven attracting readers who are interested in the topic at
hand. Thatâ€™s qualified traffic. It makes sense that those will be some
of the best customers.
- If the blogs are routinely updated visitors will come back again and again, many of those being existing customers.
- Trust and brand loyalty will result.
of these customers will become evangelists for you and talk about you
via their own consumer-generated media outlets (blogs, IM, chat rooms,
- Your blog will become a center of influence around which a community of interested customers/shoppers develop.
Whatâ€™s not to like about that!