Practical Ecommerce
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The (Ecommerce) Corner Office

  • Beware retargeting

    March 5, 2014 •
    Advertising is a pain in the butt. It’s expensive. It requires constant maintenance, and it’s not always measurable. In our industry, though, we tend to think that we can determine the ROI of everything. Truth be told, that has become a bit of a fallacy ... 5 Comments • Read Full Column »
  • Please start shipping internationally

    January 17, 2014 •
    Our international orders represent approximately 15 to 20 percent of our total sales. That’s huge. We achieved this level of success through a variety of simple tactics, which I’ll outline below. But before I delve into those details, it’s important to understand why you should tackle ... 12 Comments • Read Full Column »
  • Are you using social media all wrong?

    October 30, 2013 •
    Social media is probably the worst advertising vehicle for small ecommerce merchants I’ve found. Well, perhaps advertising on a park bench would be worse, but social media is pretty darned awful. Despite this fact, everyone tells you to have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a ... 3 Comments • Read Full Column »
  • Sell banner advertising? Yeah. Sell banner advertising.

    September 19, 2013 •
    You should sell ads on your e-commerce site. I’ve yet to find evidence that putting banner advertising on your e-commerce site to be a bad thing. I know it sounds counter intuitive. We’ve all spent so much time and effort getting visitors to our website and ... Read Full Column »
  • Content is King and Time is Your Queen

    August 23, 2013 •
    In your business, you must focus on two things: content and time. They are both equally important and inextricably intertwined. Great content will never go out of style. Seriously, there’s a reason why they call the payments to actors, producers, writers, and other artists “royalties”. Create ... 2 Comments • Read Full Column »
  • Thinking of starting a business? Think again!

    July 31, 2013 •
    I’ve been running my own small business for over a decade and I often speak with people who are thinking about starting their own business. Listening to their expectations usually results in my shaking my head later and thinking, “They have no idea what they’re getting themselves into!”... 5 Comments • Read Full Column »
  • Credit Card Processing Sucks

    June 20, 2013 •
    Credit cards are cool. They make online shopping possible. But credit card processing, the system by which money moves from a customer to a merchant, totally sucks. It sucks for three reasons: cost, liability, and security. Let’s outline each in their stunning absurdity. Credit card ... 10 Comments • Read Full Column »
  • Internet Sales Tax Isn’t About Fairness

    April 26, 2013 •
    If you listened to the politicians tell it, the story of main street retailers needing online stores to charge and collect sales tax is all about fairness. To again quote McEnroe, “You cannot be serious!” Here’s the “argument” presented by stupid politicians as proxy for the main stree... 7 Comments • Read Full Column »
  • Why we abandoned Amazon and eBay

    March 26, 2013 •
    In business, you must always be on the lookout for so-called Black Swan events. This may seem a bit illogical, but the point is that everything you rely upon in business has the potential to completely upend or destroy your business. Many years ago, my business sold a driver’s educatio... 34 Comments • Read Full Column »
  • Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

    February 22, 2013 •
    This is going to be a short blog post and for that I will apologize up front. But, I intended for this to be more of a comment-driven exploration than a “this is how you do this” type of blog post. Recently, we switched affiliate network providers (to one of the most respected in the ... 18 Comments • Read Full Column »

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