Call it another instance where e-businesses suddenly realize something long known to traditional merchandisers. In this case, it’s that presentation matters. Although e-tailers can’t match the pick-it-up-and-hold-it-in-your-hand appeal of brick-and-mortar stores, savvy Web retailers are finding that the online world offers plenty of opportunities to improve product presentation and to ease customer frustration with sites that are difficult to navigate.
Indeed, some surveys show that as many as three-quarters of all Internet shoppers abandon their shopping “trip” long before purchasing anything, leaving half-full cyber shopping carts strewn about the virtual aisles of Internet stores and flummoxing e-tailers.
For help, online retailers could look to their offline counterparts for the best ways to guide customers through the shopping experience. At any good brick-and-mortar store, for example, product departments are clearly marked; shoppers know where to find checkout stands; and when questions arise, there’s usually someone at hand ready to offer assistance.
So it’s an equal playing field after all. Companies in mature industries can be just as creative as startups, according to a new study conducted by professors from Boston University and Harvard Business School.
In “How Does Innovative Activity Change as Industries Mature,” Boston’s Anita M. McGahan and Harvard’s Brian Silverman analyzed the patent applications of publicly traded U.S. companies from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s.
They found innovation doesn’t decline with age. Using algorithms, the study identified an average of 75,000 to 100,000 patents per year per industry, which includes manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, retail, financial services, entertainment, and business services. This doesn’t change when you throw in “emerging industries.”
“The results surprised us a great deal at first because conventional wisdom has us believing that new companies are more creative while older companies don’t have the incentive to be as innovative,” McGahan says. The study also found that industry leaders can be “displaced” no matter how many patents they hold.
The two professors reason that while young companies often rely on a great new product automatically attracting market attention, they don’t understand how tough it is to attract customers to that product, no matter how great. But established firms are often much better at marketing. “And they have the advantage of established brand names, distribution channels, and marketing programs,” says McGahan. Startups may only be left with the patent.
As a noob affiliate marketer, and a WordPress devotee, I’m always looking for plugins to make my life a little easier.
I came across a program called WordPress Affiliate Pro, and while I haven’t bought it yet, I’d like to.
Usually these things come across as the perfect way to throw away money- being ebooks with nothing new to offer, or a program that can be gotten free somewhere else. But this one is different, or at least it seems to be.
There are two main types of affiliate ads: banner (it’s still called a banner ad, even if it’s 125X125), and text.
In either case, it takes forever to log into the affiliate account to grab the code, search out the appropriate keywords, copy/paste/insert link- and you have to do it for each location on each post and page that you want the ads on. Even if you keep a file of the individual codes for easy access, it still takes time to get the links live.