Monthly Archives: September 2009

BrandConnect: Social Media Tools for Brand Awareness

The BrandConnect Suit helps brand owners track, analyze and shout out to consumers and their followers on social media platforms.

PowerReviews’ new BrandConnect Suite is designed to help merchants listen to what is being said about their brand in the socialsphere, and it consists of two offerings:  Listener and Megaphone.  Listener is a social monitoring and analytics tool and Megaphone is a tool that can be used to harness customers—and their followers—to quickly and effectively spread the word about the brand and the company’s products.

The BrandConnect tools follow on the heels of the  “Community and Social Media Study” findings. The study, released by The E-Tailing Group was commissioned by PowerReviews.  Darby Williams, vice president of marketing at PowerReviews said that the research helps the company to better understand how much adoption of social media marketing has taken place in the retail industry.

The study, which assessed the attitudes and actions of brands and retailers as they make their way through the world of social media, found that five out of ten social media tools have been adopted by more than 50 percent of brands and retailers, and that the Facebook Fan Page was the most popular social media platform

 BrandConnect: Social Media Tools for Brand Awareness
By Vangie Beal, September 29, 2009

Ecommerce Guides: What You need to Open a Web Shop

Ecommerce Primer Part 1: What You Need to Set Up Shop Online
Regardless of how big or how small a retail Web site is, all e-commerce sites have the same basic fundamental building blocks that enable them to work. From choosing a domain name to accepting and processing credit card payments online, Web retailers have a lot of work to do before they can hang their open-for-business sign.

Topics Covered: Domain Name, Web Host,  Site Design, Merchant Account, Payment Gateway, Shopping Cart, Site Security

Ecommerce Primer Part 2: Enhance Your Web Shop
Once you have the e-commerce site basics covered and your Web site launched, it’s time to look at adding optional elements, like e-mail marketing and Web analytics, to your online retail site.

Topics Covered: Web Site Analytics, SEO: Search Engine Optimization, E-mail Marketing, Product Reviews, Live Chat/Support

Social Media Glossary

With social media it would seem that the terminology just doesn’t end. Here is the list of terms that are currently defined in the Webopedia Web 2.0> Social Media category:

@reply alerts A-List blogger astroturfing authenticity badge b-blog BiggerTwitter Blackbird bliki blog Blog and Ping blog storm blogroll Cisco Eos crisis blog Digg Digg This DM Facebook Facebook Connect Facebook forced invite Facebook Group Facebook Like Facebook Mini-Feed Facebook News Feed Facebook wall faceosphere Fail Whale follower forum glog hash tag influencer MFD microblog Microsoft Vine open media plog PocketTweets Retweet RSS social media social network social networking site social software tag cloud tagging Technorati TrackBack Twaffic Tweeple tweet twewbie Twidroid Twishing Twitosphere Twitter Twitter following Twitter Sparq Twitterers Twittermaps Twitturly Twittworking UGC Web 2.0 YouTube [Webopedia’s Social Media Category]


eBiz Profile: E.L.F. (Eyes, Lips, Face) Cosmetics

The cosmetics industry is tough to break in to and when it first launched in June 2004, E.L.F. Cosmetics faced some serious obstacles. Joseph Shamah, CEO, said the company didn’t initially launch as an e-commerce venture— instead it was a new cosmetics brand. (E.L.F. stands for Eyes, Lips, Face.)

The company realized it had two choices: quickly find a national distributor to get the product into retail stores — and compete against rich brands like Cover Girl, Revlon and Maybelline—or it could launch its own e-commerce Web site.

Fast-forward five years and E.L.F. Cosmetics has successfully pushed into the retail market, but the largest part of the business is still online sales through the Web site.

eBiz Profile: E.L.F. (Eyes, Lips, Face) Cosmetics
By Vangie Beal, September 23, 2009

Why You Need an EBay Compatible Shopping Cart

If you sell on your own site in addition to eBay, eBay-compatible carts let you track and manage your orders from one location, regardless of where the sale takes place.

When you sell products on your own Web site, in addition to listing on eBay, you have something important to consider: shopping carts and how to integrate customer data from eBay sales with data from your non-eBay storefront or Web shop. 

One easy and cost-effective way to handle this problem is to use a secure, eBay Compatible shopping cart. EBay-compatible carts will track and manage all your orders, no matter which site generates the sale. 

EBay-compatible carts can be used as a stand-alone cart on your own site, but with eBay integration, you can direct eBay customers to use it instead of eBay’s own checkout simply by providing the checkout buttons in e-mails to eBay customers after they make a purchase.

Here are three eBay compatible shopping carts you can consider, each with its own options, features and pricing.

Seller Tools: EBay Compatible Shopping Carts
By Vangie Beal, September 16, 2009

eBay Integrates Outright Bookkeeping Solution

The newly integrated Outright application helps small and individual eBay sellers manage burdensome bookkeeping tasks that go hand-in-hand with managing a business.

One of the most difficult challenges most individual and small sellers on eBay face is managing the bookkeeping tasks that go with managing an online selling business—and many hobby sellers may not even consider eBay selling as a business at all.

EBay has integrated a new application—called Outright—in its suite of Selling Manager Applications.  Outright is a completely free and simple online bookkeeping solution designed to help small- and self-employed business owners.

eBay Integrates Outright Bookkeeping Solution
By Vangie Beal, September 14, 2009

How Surround Sound Works: Set up 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems

Surround Sound is the term commonly used to describe a system in which the sound output appears to surround the listener — that is, the technology gives the impression that sounds are coming from all possible directions.

Today consumers demand immersive entertainment and surround sound plays a big part in delivering an engaging entertainment experience. To this end, there’s no lack of options when it comes to surround sound technology and systems.

All technical aspects aside, surround sound works because multiple audio channels are received through speakers that are positioned at various locations in the room. This is programmed into the source and the sound tracks are decoded when the source is played. While this may seem simplistic, it is important to remember that sound systems started out with monophonic sound, a single channel system. In monophonic (mono) sound systems, the signal sent to the sound system is encoded as one single stream of sound — and the sound is usually received through a single speaker.

How Surround Sound Works
By Vangie Beal, Last updated September 11, 2009

10 Free Social Networking Tools to Save You Time

If you use social networking, bookmarking, or blogging sites these profile management and aggregators will save you time by pushing your updates to multiple social sites.

With the hundreds of social networking and social bookmarking sites available today, it’s not surprising that people find is difficult to manage their social media accounts. While you want to have a presence on many of these different sites, it can be time-consuming to update your status and profiles on each site — especially if you also use blogs, social bookmarking sites and instant messaging platforms to promote yourself or your brand.

Here are ten free social networking tools that can help you manage numerous social networking and bookmarking accounts, plus save you time by aggregating your updates — that is publishing one update across multiple social sites.

10 Essential Social Networking Tools to Save Time
By Vangie Beal, September 11, 2009

eBay Search Upgrade to Impact Optional Listing Features

EBay tests will leave some sellers with disabled—and soon to be retired—listing features. Also, GM reports success with eBay Motors, and PayPal introduces a new Student Account.

EBay is now testing the search upgrade before the official roll-out in October. This month, approximately 20 percent of buyer traffic will view the new upgraded search so the optional features will be turned off as a part of this testing period.

According to Director of Global Search, Gene Cook, sellers who have purchased these optional listing features during the September test phase will receive credit for 20 percent of the feature fees paid—prorated for the number of days these listings overlap with testing.

When the features are officially retired in October, sellers who have purchased them for live listings will see them removed from their listing and will receive credit.

eBay Search Upgrade to Impact Optional Listing Features
By Vangie Beal, September 9, 2009

What are Cookies and What Do Cookies Do?

From session cookies to malicious cookies — we discuss the good, the bad, and how to remove Internet cookies.

A cookie is the term given to describe a type of message that is given to a Web browser by a Web server.  The main purpose of a cookie is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages or to save site login information for you.

When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing personal information; like your name, e-mail address, and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser, which then stores the information for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The message is sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

A Web server has no memory so the hosted Web site you are visiting transfers a cookie file of the browser on your computer’s hard disk so that the Web site can remember who you are and your preferences. This message exchange allows the Web server to use this information to present you with customized Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.

Read the Article: What are Cookies and What Do Cookies Do?
By Vangie Beal, Last updated: September 04, 2008