Store Coach eCommerce Blog

Open-Book Sale of our $267K Online Store

NFC Performance

We're selling one of our profitable online stores (NFCperformance.com), and for the interest and education of our valued Store Coach members, we've decided to take a very different approach than how we've sold stores in the past. Instead of posting just the basic information about the store in a Flippa listing & then corresponding privately with interested parties, we're providing full disclosure about the store (i.e. full financials, traffic stats, admin panel screenshots, you name it) right here on our blog & will be selling the website privately (see 'Buying Process' section below). No Flippa, no brokers, none of that… we'll answer all questions right here on this blog page & deal directly with interested parties & the eventual buyer. Oh yeah, we're also offering a $5,000 finder's fee to whoever "connects" us with the eventual buyer, even if you've done nothing more than "tweet" or "share" this post. Please help us spread the word, and it could turn into a nice trip to Hawaii for you! (See the Finder's Fee section below for more details & ideas.) Share this post now: Tweet on Twitter - Share on Facebook - Share on Google+ We're also turning the traditional auction approach upside-down & doing a "Dutch… Read More»

How to Use Facebook Ads and Actually Make a Profit – Coach’s Tip of the Week

I'll admit it. I'm one of those people who simply did not understand how anyone in the world could make money with Facebook Ads. I visit Facebook quite frequently and don't even notice the ads there anymore due to banner blindness. One study says that "86% of Consumers Suffer From Banner Blindness" (although "suffer" is hardly the word that I would have used). Although the vast majority of people are completely ignoring ads because they don't even see them anymore, there's another set of people out there who DO see the ads, are annoyed by them and don't click on them. In fact, according to this article, you are 279 times more likely to climb Mount Everest and reach the summit than you are to click a banner ad. So, who in the world is clicking on these ads and then actually buying something? Apparently quite a few people! According to statista.com, there are more than 1.2 billion Facebook users. If only 1% of them click on ads, that's still more than 12 million people. If your ad is shown to only 10% of those people, that's 1.2 million "clickers" out there for your ad. If you convert at just… Read More»

Coach’s ’Fab 5’ of the Week – September 12, 2014

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#1 - Viral Marketing Case Study: How a Brand New Blog Generated 17,584 Visitors In One Day In this awesome article the author, a much respected link building expert Brian Dean talks about techniques he used to get some serious traffic very quickly for a brand new website (with no preexisting social followers or a mailing list). The article focuses a technique he calls the "Skyscraper Technique" for finding gaps within the "hot" topics in your industry, filling them in & then letting everyone know about it! The article is extremely detailed and an amazing read! #2 - Managing The Flow Of Content In Social Media This article by Ric Dragon gave some pretty awesome insights for managing and scheduling your content flow. One of the biggest challenges for content marketers is creating and organizing the flow of content they create. Creating a planned schedule and sticking to it is important and this article has some great suggestions along those lines. #3 - 4 Ways Kickstarter Can Boost Your #Brand in Addition to Raising Money John Boitnott wrote my 3rd favorite article this week and it was all about the hot topic of crowdfunding! When an entrepenuer thinks about crowdfunding… Read More»

Which Social Networks Should You Be Using To Market Your Business?

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Although I certainly don't market myself as a service provider for any businesses other than my own, I was recently contacted and hired to manage the website and social networking of a local business. Pay me enough, and I'll do almost anything! Almost immediately, I saw that their idea of what they should be doing on social media and mine were two totally different things. Like many small businesses, they felt that the best way of getting the word out was to be on as many social networks as possible. I told them "you can either be good at two or three things or terrible at ten. Which would you prefer?" That argument, though true, didn't cut it with them. Next, I pointed out the reason why, in my opinion, many of the social networks that they thought were important would do absolutely nothing to help their particular business. Just to give myself a little backup, I prepared a report showing them what all of the major companies in their niche were doing on social media. They were only using the social networks that I had recommended and none of the superfluous ones the company thought they should be on.… Read More»

Coach’s ’Fab 5’ of the Week – September 5, 2014

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#1 - Template For Success: 5 Keys to Creating A Winning Social Media Plan My absolute favorite article this week was created by Stuart Leung with Sales Force and published on Forbes. The article discusses the differences in businesses and the differences in social networking sites and how you should mold your plan based on this. Then Stuart goes on to explain "how" to actually create a plan for each of the social networks your business has a legitimate shot at getting some good traction in. This article is a "must-read" for any business that is trying to establish a social media game plan. #2 - 7 Ways to Build Online Customer Trust My 2nd favorite article this week was written by Shep Hyken and published on Business2Community. This article was short & sweet, but was loaded with some pretty killer advice for building customer trust (the #1 conversion rate fact for virtually any online website). People tend to keep their wallet in their pocket until they feel a certain amount of trust in your website, so I recommend giving this a read and thinking about how you can improve customer trust on your websites! #3 - The Top 5 Errors… Read More»

ASK COACH: I Have Dozens of Almost Identical Products, Will Google Frown Upon This?

QA with Coach

This morning I answered a question from a Store Coach member relating to product pages and duplicate content. He is in a situation where he has the same product available with every professional and college sports team's logo on it, and he is trying to decide whether to make the 'team' be a product option, or create a separate product page for each team. He feels like in this specific situation, customers (and therefore their conversion rate) would benefit from seeing all the teams as separate products in the store, but he's worried about Google seeing tons of almost identical products with either thin or duplicated content. Since this is one of the most common questions we get, I thought it would make sense to create a blog post here and let everyone see my answer. Note: I have removed potentially sensitive details that the client would likely not appreciate me sharing publicly. ========================================= [CLIENT], I always do whatever will make the most sense to the customer. Put yourself in the customer's shoes and think about what would provide the best experience for them. Once the decision is made based on that, I think about what will need to be… Read More»

How to Hide the Zopim Chat Widget on your Website – Coach’s Tip of the Week

In the Store Coach eCommerce training course, it is recommended that people install the Zopim chat widget on their website. For those unfamiliar with Zopim, it is a live chat window that you can use on practically any type of website for free. In addition to the chat feature, Zopim allows you to monitor website visitors and see every page they go to on your site in real time. It also provides data about the operating system they are using, what part of the country/world website visitors are from and how they found your website. While plenty of people elect to upgrade to the paid Zopim gadget, which gives you all sorts of automated ways of handling chats and even can provide activity reports, some people really don't need all of that extra functionality and reporting. The paid versions of Zopim also allow you a great deal of widget customization including the ability to make it completely invisible. You may wonder why someone would want to make the chat window invisible. There are all sorts of reasons you may want to do that. Some website visitors are annoyed by any sort of pop-up window - even the small Zopim one… Read More»

Coach’s “Fab 5″ of the Week – August 29, 2014

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Being in charge of marketing here at Store Coach means that I read a serious amount of business related articles each week... I mean, I'm talking 100+ of the latest and greatest articles to come out each week. Below is my list of the "cream of the crop" this week. If you only take the time to read three articles this week to further your growth, make it these: #1 - How To Apply Psychological Principles To Boost Your Conversion Rate My favorite article this week was by Thomas Smale and is one of the best pieces I've ever read on conversion rate optimization. Sure, website owners try to "put themselves in their customer's shoes" when optimizing their web pages, but rarely do they implement true psychological principles that are well known to those that study the human mind. In the original article, Thomas discusses thinking patterns of the typical shopper and how these patterns can be "optimized for" to improve your conversion rate. For example, optimizing your pages for the "right side" and "left side" thinkers of the world! Image Source #2 = Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle: Maximize Existing Content, Generate Quick Ideas & Cut Blogging Time in Half My… Read More»

How to Use Google Alerts to Follow Websites When There Is No RSS Feed – Coach’s Tip of the Week

One of the very best ways to follow what is happening in your industry and to get ideas for blog articles is to follow other blogs related to your niche. The problem, though, is that checking all of the relevant blogs to see if there is anything noteworthy going on is not a very productive use of time. It is much better to get the feeds of great blogs and let your feed reader (or Email program) let you know whenever something has been written. You can then just scan the headlines and see if there is something of interest that you'd like to share or write an article of your own about. Unfortunately, the number of blogs that have an RSS feed these days is far outnumbered by ones that don't. An RSS feed used to be considered a "must-have" for any blog but now that social networking has become so popular, many people figure that having a Twitter, Facebook and Google+ "follow us" button is enough. The problem with not having an RSS feed for a blog is that when somebody really wants to follow your articles, they end up getting lost in a sea of Tweets, +1s,… Read More»

Quick Tip: Customize Your AVS Settings to Prevent Chargebacks

In most markets, fraud isn't a huge risk. Still, when a single wipes out the profit generated from several orders you worked hard to get, it's important to do everything you can to prevent them. One very simple thing you can do to prevent potential fraudulent transactions is customize your Address Verification System () settings for credit card processing. AVS is a simple "address check" your provider does before approving & processing a transaction. Basically, your merchant account provider checks to see whether the address the customer provided during checkout matches the address on file with the customer's credit card company. By customizing your AVS settings, you can decide how "strict" you want the address check to be. Since we use & recommend Durango Merchant Services and we're most familiar with their system, we'll walk you through how to customize your AVS settings within Durango's secure payment gateway. If your merchant account provider uses another payment gateway (such as Authorize.net), the process will be slightly different but the concepts will be the same. Follow these steps to access the page in your Durango payment gateway where you can customize your AVS settings... Log in to your Durango payment gateway In… Read More»