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  1. #1
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    As a newbie to building an ecommerce site, I have some questions... but if they ever go over the line into "trade secrets", simply feel free not to answer -- I won't be offended.

    If I'm creating a widget product page and widgets come in 12 different styles and prices, is it best to offer the end-user a selection, or just pick one widget and stick to it?

    Additionally, if it's a good idea to offer several, is it ever wise to offer from different suppliers? eg -- 3 advertisers on CJ offer three styles of widgets -- will it just confuse the end-user to have three suppliers, or do they prefer choice?

    And forgetting what they prefer, what tends to have the higher CR?

  2. #2
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    Personally, I'd put them all on. Thats is what we are here for - we build easy places to find every widget in creation regardless of manufacturer. (Assuming we like the percentage we are paid, chargeback ratio and conversion rate). Some people think too much choice distracts the buyer though - so bear in mind this is just my personal style.

    When you have found out which widgets sell best make individual pages for these and link to them from the old widget page.

    If you want to know precisely how you should describe your widgets go to:-
    http://inventor y.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

    and see how they are searched for.


    f

    [ 11-06-2001: Message edited by: francis ]

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    If the different suppliers are offering the same or very similar widgets, the supplier with the highest commission wins! If the commish is the same, pick the one most likely to convert. Also, if there seems to be a significant difference in the chance of conversions, SOMETIMES it's worthwhile to take a couple of points off the commish and pick the higher converting merchant. I say "sometimes" because there are other times where the difference in CR does not make up for the loss of percentage. Multiple suppliers haven't worked well for me. I usually end up firing all but one merchant from the page. The winner is whoever converts the best, in that case!

    As for listing every widget, usually that's good.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Ummmmm, What is a Widget.

  5. #5
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    Why Packy, it's the one and only thing in the world you simply cannot resist buying. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6
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    >>pick the one most likely to convert<<

    Ah, now there's the trick. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Thanks Francis and Leader for the tips... it is helpful to get info from some people in the know.

  7. #7
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    Yeah I did forget to mention weeding. The Angel of Death ought to pay a call every couple of months on those widgets who eat clicks but don't perform. This is true whether you paid for the clicks or not.

    Its like Darwin only with code. I think Leader gives a merchant 100 clicks without result before removal, I give 150 on general links and maybe 30 on individual links, but it depends on what the product is. A perfume, cosmetics or flower merchant only gets 15-20 clicks then its The Big Bit Bucket in the Sky. No one looks at these things unless they want to buy, whereas people might well look at electronics or artwork just to see whats about.


    f

  8. #8
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    >> think Leader gives a merchant 100 clicks without result before removal, I give 150 on general links and maybe 30 on individual links, but it depends on what the product is. A perfume, cosmetics or flower merchant only gets 15-20 clicks<<

    wow... now this is going to be a major thought re-adjustment. My top (moneywise) advertiser on my high-traffic, low-profit site (not established for sales) runs about 1/1,000. If I killed that one off, I'd kill off 1/2 of my CJ profits.

    Different site, different world... I must go and think now...

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    quote:
    Why Packy, it's the one and only thing in the world you simply cannot resist buying.


    Cedric, I know, I know. I want to buy one right now. Ummm, I still don't know what the hell a Widget is, Jeeesh. Would I want one or maybe my daughter? Even after reading this thread I don't have a clue. No wonder I can't sell stuff. I probably couldn't even sell the most popular Widget in the world.

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    "think Leader gives a merchant 100 clicks without result before removal"

    AAAKKK! Wrong! Hold the phone!

    Cedric, don't yank down any links yet!

    What I do (other people do things differently) depends on the ticket price of the item. And I leave a product up on GoTo/FindWhat for at least 3 weeks (since there may be competitor clicks wrecking the CR...for an average of 2 weeks) unless it's really vacumming in traffic and therefore jacking the bill. The bids may be changed quick, though.

    The general rule is: If it's not costing me to leave a page up, IT STAYS UP unless it's a clear scam (see my post in Merchant Fraud for what I call a real scam). Non-performers are left to the whims of the Googlebot.

    After the 2 week competitor-click period, I start really watching the paid clicks. If it's low ticket, they should be able to convert at least 1%. High ticket can take many more.

    Cedric, I hear you about the low CR merchant being a good revenue source. As long as it's profitable for you, LEAVE THEM ON!!! Just keep looking for better converters to add to the mix.

    Packy--a "Widget" is just a general term for an item. It's like "doohickey", "gadget", "thingamagig", and "thingamabob". Personally, I like "Thingamagig", but Widget is quicker to type and more people use that term anyway.

    BTW, one company did decide to call their products "Widgets" as a brand name (paint scrapers I believe...)--but that's NOT what most people are talking about when they say Widgets no matter how much that company's CEO wishes otherwise...

    [ 11-06-2001: Message edited by: Leader ]

  11. #11
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    Sorry Cedric and Leader! Cedric, I thought you had the same set-up as me. My traffic is highly targetted, with very few areas where people just browse - they usually have finding some very specific things in mind.

    I wonder where I got the 100 click through idea from then? :/ It was a good one...


    f

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    :rolleyes: Phshoooo!!! Thanks Leader, I have been searching the internet for hours trying to buy me one of them there widgets. Cripe, the only widget I found was some computer programs.

  13. #13
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    Francis, A lot of people have mentioned using 100 clickthroughs as a cutoff. I think I mentioned that I give a low-ticket item 100 PAID clicks at one point--I kind of remember somebody bugging for a "ballpark figure" so I wrote 100 Paid clicks, but usually it's more of an intuitive thing.

    I actually hate to give even the "ballpark figures" because they do get read as absolutes which is not the case at all. Every few months I go through the entire PPC account at Oversure and FindWhat with my ax looking for dud listings, CJ performance reports in hand. Changes are only made in between those "cleaning sessions" if something really unusual starts happening!

    My set-up is like you describe yours in this thread--people come to mine looking for specific things, too. Since I've got each thing/merchant on a different page, I don't have any need to eliminate (non-scam) merchants completely in most cases...people don't browse my site either, so they don't get "lost" on a page they weren't looking for anyway. I don't tend to put things on where there are a lot of merchants in the category, though.

  14. #14
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    lol... thank you, Leader, for rescuing my paying advertiser. For the commerce site, I don't have anyone sucking up the bucks yet, but I'll keep an eye on them. I find I'm leaning more toward the obscure (yet desirable [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]) products that can go in the PPCs at fairly low prices.

    Unfortunately, it may take me awhile to build up enough pages this way to generate a healthy income. But for now, I'm going on instinct and products that actually interest me.

    And I'm having a blast with WordTracker. :cool:

    francis, I have two sites. One I've been running for years -- it wasn't set up to make money and, in that, it is very successful... lol... Recently (within the past couple of weeks), I set up a site designed to generate sales. It has two sections -- the people come to browse section (for all the cheap traffic I can get get off my first site) and the one-off pages designed for the search engines and dedicated shoppers seeking a specific product.

    BTW, I was thrilled to have my first sale on day seven of the site's life, but haven't had another since. I have good volume of traffic, but those rapscallions from my other site are just not shoppers (which is why I'm hitting the PPCs).

  15. #15
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    Hey Cedric, You're doin' good! I had a site that made $2 all year! I was learning html and put a bunch of flowers on it, then forgot about the site until a check arrived!

    Six months ago I set up a proper site but it took three months to start earning, Now I'm spending time tweaking the click through ratios before the next round of page and site creation.

    What is so great about this job is its cumulative nature. Its like juggling but the balls stay in motion even when you take your hands away.


    f

  16. #16
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    thanks for the encouragement, francis. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    I can't wait until the day when sales are a trickle as opposed to a drip. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

  17. #17
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    Anytime. Am I right in thinking you are selling a wide range of stuff? If so, some reciprocal linking might help us both.

    Specially if you are planning on Google finding you too.

    And before your new site gets too large it might be worth reading up about 'themeing' if you haven't already.


    f

  18. #18
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    francis,

    lol... are you sure you want to link with someone with a Zero Page Rank? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] Right now, I'd rather wait on cross-linking until I have a better idea of what I'm doing... I'm really gun-shy about exposing my site before I know I'm doing things right (or at least some things right). [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    ...hmmm... sounds like I need to research this thing called "themeing" -- I'll check the archives here, but if not here, do you have any suggestions for some good reading?

    thanks again for your patience and insight.

  19. #19
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  20. #20
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    wow... thanks for mentioning themeing, francis, and thanks for the link, buckworks -- I had no idea... the good news is, I lucked out in the way I named things (but won't rely on luck moving forward).

  21. #21
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    Well I read everything on webmasterworld and searchenginewatch paying particular attention to Google threads. I suggest you do that too as it might save lots of wasted effort.

    Then I set up a template and have been churning out pages ever since [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    One thing that will help a lot is some kind of editor that can open many files at once and do text search and replaces. I used Nottab lite or Arachnophilia (both free).

    As for linking to a site with zero page rank - you won't have zero for long I expect.


    f

  22. #22
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    francis, thanks for the additional info. I know sewatch (and SEF), but I hadn't checked out webmasterworld. I will check it out.

    If you're really interested in trading links, drop me a note at cedricmann37@yahoo.com (I'm assuming this sort of link exchange is done with the greatest discretion -- I don't expose your site, you don't expose mine? I'm still a littly foggy on the best rules of play. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img])

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