Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Keep it simple

Store or magazine?

Some people try to do both. They try to sell their own products on their website, and they also put up ads for other merchants. Maybe this tactic works for some people but it has never worked for me. Have you ever been shopping at Walmart and seen signs telling you to go to other stores? Or have you seen signs advertising products that Walmart doesn’t carry? Me neither.

I say you should make up your mind. Decide if your website is a store or a magazine. You can indeed do both--just not on the same website, in my opinion. I don't think I would even put up Adsense ads on a retail store site. It isn’t that you don’t want to mention the name of competing stores; it’s just that the point of sale is the wrong time to do it. Even if the ad is for a store that carries completely different merchandise than you do, that's not the point. If you are a store site and you are on the verge of making a sale, don't take the customer's mind off following through with the purchase right then and there.

If you are running an online store, don’t do ANYTHING that might get in the way of your customer’s decision to buy. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by being needlessly greedy. Concentrate on doing one thing or the other well. Use separate websites for stores and magazines.

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