Benefits of Online Shopping Directory Services

With the rapid growth of the Internet, one of most prominent services made available through the Internet is Online Shopping. Regular shoppers, who used to go to a physical store to search for products and compare prices, are now rushing to online shopping stores due to the inherent advantages they provide. For these online shoppers, the tool that helps them to perform an effective online shopping is Online Shopping Directory services. Some others identify these services as Price Comparison Services.

Similar to any other directory service, Online Shopping Directory lists products which are available to be purchased online. These product listings represent different vendors, categories, brands, etc. The benefit of an Online Shopping Directory is twofold. While these services help shoppers to easily find the products they are looking for, they also help sellers to list their products. It is worthwhile to find out what benefits these services provide for shoppers and vendors.

Benefits for Online Shoppers:

The online shopper, who can be a veteran or a newbie, will find an Online Shopping Directory a very useful service to search for the product that they are looking for and perfect to assist their home shopping. Before the final purchasing decision is made, an average shopper spends a considerable amount of time searching for the product having an affordable price, acceptable quality. Not only price and quality, many other factors like guarantee terms, return policy, warranty, and delivery time are also critical to make the final decision. Shopping directory will provide most of this information with varying degree to the shopper to make an informed decision.

Since there are many different products available for the specification that the shopper is looking for, the shopper has a greater flexibility to cross compare these similar products using various aspects such as brand, quality, price, user ratings, warranty, etc. This will drastically reduce the effort and time to find the right product and also make online shopping a pleasurable experience.

Any online shopper would like to find the best bargain available for the product they are looking for. Online Shopping Directories again become handy to find the best bargain since they provide the best online shopping deals available on the Internet. Make a note to find a directory which has regular updates so the deals you will get are up to date.

Benefits for Vendors:

Vendors will also find that online shopping directories are an ideal place to list the products available from their online shop. One of the key benefits is the user base of these directories. By listing a product, vendors will instantly get access to this large user database which will definitely increase the traffic to vendor products. Since online shopping directories provide searches for shoppers to filter the products they are looking for, there is a higher possibility of getting your product information indexed to potential buyers.

Another benefit of an Online Shopping Directory is the indirect exposure of your product listings through the affiliate services provided by the Online Shopping Directories. These affiliations will expose the products listings of the Shopping Directory through the affiliate web sites making a network of listings. This will again increase the chances of selling your products.

To harness these benefits, vendor must make sure that the product details such as short, long descriptions, features, benefits which are provided to the online shopping directory are properly articulated. Also verify that the keywords which you think your product should be listed with are included in the descriptions. By having the right content as well as adhering to the online shopping directory submission guidelines, the traffic to your product listing can be increased.

Can all these benefits be gained at an affordable price? The answer is yes. In fact most Online Shopping Directory services provide free listing of products and services. If you are owner of any number of online shops, it is worthwhile to consider these benefits and harness the true potential of an Online Shopping Directory to market your products.

To conclude, Online Shopping Directory is a great way to list products as well as to search for products to buy. If you are a regular shopper or a seller, the best practice is to spend some time to find the best Online Shopping Directories out there on the Internet having a wide range of products, larger user base and up to date information. Some online shopping directories are targeted to specific shopping market segments such as online shopping UK, US online shopping, etc. By knowing what market segment a particular online directory focuses on will help you to find the product or to sell your product easily.

Breaking Down Sales and Marketing

Revisiting the Sales and Marketing ConversationBack in October 2015 we shared an article called “5 Ways Marketing Departments Help Salespeople Catch Butterflies.” Recently a tenfold article was shared with us, titled “What is the Meaning of Sales & Marketing and Their Advantages?” and, I have to say, it does a pretty awesome job of breaking down the differences, responsibilities, and links between sales and marketing roles. Why revisit this now? Because it has never been more apparent that the relationship between sales and marketing is still just as misunderstood as ever, especially with advances in marketing technology.Setting the Record StraightMany in the business world, especially those who rely on sales and marketing for success, don’t actually have a concrete grasp on exactly what sales and marketing are. Yes, the two are linked, but they are not one and the same. Sales departments rely on marketing; marketing departments and strategies exist to feed sales (notice I didn’t say “make” sales). You wouldn’t engage in marketing if you had nothing to sell, and your sales strategy would be much less informed and successful if not for your marketing efforts. Yes, many old-school salespeople (or go-getter small business entrepreneurs) are quite capable of drumming up business on their own, and may even have some tried-and-true marketing tactics up their sleeve – but few have the time, skill, or technological resources to effectively capitalize on the true potential of their market.A common mistake made by older, more established businesses is to assume that salespeople are skilled at marketing and that marketing people are skilled at making sales. In some cases this may be true, but certainly not across the board. While trying to conserve capital, many of these companies will attempt to combine their sales and marketing departments, essentially tasking their employees with two job descriptions, and that’s usually a bad move. It’s no accident that more recently established companies, tech giants, and organizations that employ a large number of millennials are killing it with their marketing efforts.Breaking It DownAs the tenfold article explains, some of the key responsibilities of a sales team include:

Follow Up

Relationship Building

Closing

Retention

The mark of a great salesperson is the ability to cultivate a personal relationship. Many consumers who have stayed loyal to the same brand, dealership, or salon for years will say that they appreciate the personal attention they receive there. It is not a marketing employee’s responsibility to follow up with a salesperson’s existing customer once the lead has been handed off, nor is it their responsibility to convert a lead to a sale, “close the deal,” or make sure the client remains a client for many years. Short of having an outstanding relationship with a skilled salesperson, product quality and excellent overall experience are the main things that will bolster client retention.On the marketing side, primary efforts are:

Awareness

Engagement

Conversion (from anonymous to known)

Retention

It is not a salesperson’s job to generate awareness or buzz about their brand, product or service. If they are expected to use their energy to make sales by nurturing leads and relationships, then how can they also be expected to have the time to do the leg-work up front that brings those leads to the table in the first place?The marketing department creates awareness, builds engagement by creating information that will invite audience members to take action, and targets and tracks engagement by motivating audience members to provide contact information or initiate a free trial or consultation (converting them from a cold prospect to a known lead or potential buyer). It is important to note here that the retention function of a marketing department doesn’t really overlap the retention efforts of a sales team.On the sales side, client retention refers more to the salesperson’s efforts to use the client relationship to continually check in with the client, attempt to engage them in further discussions about additional products or services they may be interested in, and seek referrals to the client’s friends and family members. On the marketing side, however, retention refers to maintaining a higher level of consistent engagement (through targeted marketing based on buying preferences, interests and history) so that the customer relationship doesn’t end at the initial purchase. Those email newsletters you receive after becoming a customer somewhere are not random – they have a purpose and are often tailored to things you’ve viewed or expressed interest in. A sales team simply doesn’t have the insights, time, or often the resources to execute these types of strategic campaigns.The Fine-Tuned Coexistence Of It AllThe ideal sales and marketing relationship is a symbiotic one. Marketers and salespeople work together to determine what consumers need and how to deliver it. Sales and marketing should motivate, inspire and feed one other. They should collaborate and coexist. In the hierarchy of the business food chain, sales and marketing should not be seen as rivals or equals, but counterparts. One truly cannot exist without the other, but their skill sets are not the same – especially today, where advances in technology require the modern marketer to have a very specific, honed, and competitive set of skills that most sales people simply do not need to have.For this reason many marketers are introverted, analytical, and deep-thinking individuals. Whether they’re crunching numbers and analyzing data, compiling reports on trends and conversion rates, or writing awesome ads and creating beautiful websites and collateral material, they are required to intensely focus on what works, what doesn’t, and adjust their creative efforts accordingly. Usually a marketing department will have creatives, analysts, and more tech-oriented people (who dive into the numbers and algorithms behind advanced marketing tools).In contrast though, many salespeople are extroverts – they light up a room, they have excellent “people skills,” can easily relate to others, and have the ability to pick up on social cues that might actually help them close a sale. Oftentimes salespeople have a broader focus, preferring to spend their days with appointments and meetings – activities that build relationships – rather than sitting behind a desk doing what a marketing department does best. For this reason, many salespeople have administrative assistants to help them with follow-up, paperwork, appointment setting, phone calls, proposals, and calendar management. This type of functional assistant role is less widespread in the marketing realm.Share Your ThoughtsBe sure to read the full article (and let us know how it compares to our post ) for additional insights on the relationship between sales and marketing teams. Join the conversation: in your experience, what have been some key components of a successful sales and marketing partnership?

Module 1 Chapter 4 How to Plan Your Marketing Funnel

MODULE 1CHAPTER 4 HOW TO PLAN YOUR MARKETING FUNNEL1.0 INTRODUCTION2.0 OBJECTIVES3.0 MAIN CONTENT3.1 What is Marketing Funnel?3.2 Awareness3.3 Consideration3.4 Conversion3.5 Loyalty3.6 Advocacy4.0 CONCLUSION5.0 SUMMARY6.0 ASSIGNMENT1.0 INTRODUCTIONThe next thing that naturally follows Market Research is the process of setting up your Marketing Funnel. This chapter will focus on how to do just that.2.0 OBJECTIVES- To highlight what a strategic marketing funnel is- To demonstrate how to tactically set it up- To encourage each student to set her own in her chosen market niche.3.0 MAIN CONTENTBefore we go in to discuss how to plan your Marketing Funnel, there is a need to define it.3.1 What is a marketing funnel?It is an overall plan to channel new prospects into your business with the aim of developing a relationship, a sale, repeat sales and finally turning them to become not only your clients, but also your raving Fans for life.It has also been defined by other authorities as a simple marketing system that you set up to collect email addresses of your prospects in such a way that you can market to them automatically.There are two types namely: a lead-driven and a sales-driven marketing funnel.After securing a purchase from your prospect, the former puts the customer in your list, your control for further marketing while the later puts them in the affiliate merchants’ control, gone forever out of your hands.For beginners I recommend lead-driven marketing funnel as it is very useful for affiliate marketing, but sales-driven marketing funnel is good if you have your own product as a merchant in ClickBank etc. where other affiliate are selling for you. At the end you get the money and the list for further marketing.When you are setting up your lead-driven marketing funnel, you need 2 things namely: a free offer and an autoresponder. I will deliberate on them in other parts of this eCourse.However, strategically, a marketing Funnel is usually depicted as an inverted pyramid (or funnel), with 5 connected parts:

The top broad inverted base =>

The middle small part =>

The smaller underneath vertex =>

The smallest tip that opens into the funnel channel =>

The channel.
The inverted Pyramid (or Funnel) portions described above can then be labelled in that order as listed:

Awareness

Consideration

Conversion

Loyalty

Advocacy
3.2 AwarenessThe top broad zenith (in the inverted pyramid) represents all the ways you attempt to create awareness for your brand, product or website; to attract and lead the people to your website. This include over 5-10 free and paid ways that you will regularly use to attract prospects to your website and finally to your products.Top and easiest among them are the Social Media – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Squidoo Lens, Classified Ads, Press Releases, HubPages, Answer Sites, Forum, etc.There are simple ways of placing ads on those sites – those kind of ads you often see on sites like Facebook and Yahoo Answers, etc.The major aim is to create public/market awareness of your brand, products and services.3.3 ConsiderationThe middle portion called consideration. It is where you offer to them valuable goods and services as baits and pecks to get them involved in doing business with you.The goal here is to make a calculated attempt to convince them to join your list.Thus, whatever you are offering must be very relevant to your market niche, but quite different from what you are putting up for sale.If you are selling Affiliate products, the vendor will more often than not provide you with products that will serve as Free Offers which you can use here as baits to get people into your lists. If they don’t, you can create them by yourself using free but relevant downloads or free products from other sources.3.4 ConversionThe bottom portion represents the period that you have successfully convince them to join your list. This is called conversion.Two things may happen immediately they have join your list. They will either buy your product or fail to do so.As a savvy marketer, you must know that the game is not yet over till (and even after) they have bought from you.The next thing is to get them on your educational series by sending to them lessons on the relevant niche. More often than not, they will later end up buying from you (if they did not, initially).Thus, for most prospects, they need some kind of education on what they are about to get involved.Email series of at least 7 lessons can help the prospect pass over this stage to become a customer.3.5 LoyaltyLoyalty is when your customer shows up repeatedly to buy your related products in connection with the initial purchase.3.6 AdvocacyIf you did the above groundwork well, your customers by now will be recommending your products and services to other customers – his friends, relations, acquaintances, etc. It is a sign of Loyalty and what every Marketer that knows his Onions should be aiming at.This is the ultimate level of Internet Marketing!Planning your marketing funnel:Tactically, here is a simple and straightforward way to plan your marketing funnel.From top to bottom Marketing Funnel typically contains:

Freebies

Sign up

One Time Offers (OTOs) often at a very minimal initial prices

Free eCourse

Sales Promotion

Membership Site Offer or

Another OTO, all at reduced initial prices

These positions may vary slightly depending on your goal for setting up the marketing funnel
4.0 CONCLUSIONIt is only when you set up a marketing funnel for your niche market that you have really start business – online business. Otherwise, Internet Marketing is just your hobby and not yet a Business for you.5.0 SUMMARYThe conduct of this aspect of business is also influenced by the approach of the marketer, some prefers a Soft Approach while others use the Hard Approach to Marketing.I will return to this topic with more details when I will be discussing on setting up the Autoresponder Messages.What do you think you should do next after this?Did I heard you say: Domain Name Registration and Hosting?You are absolutely right, and that is what I will be talking about in the next chapter.6.0 ASSIGNMENTCan you plan and set up your own funnel in your chosen market niche before you go unto the next eCourse?