Cool conversion of the post below into a "Lean Marketing" Haiku Deck by my friend Mark Traphagen. Even COOLER, Mark's Haiku Deck is TRENDING on Slideshare (included now on their homepage).
Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad
Story of Cancer Store LessonsWho says an old Ecommerce Director can't learn new tricks. Recently I dusted off my merchant and technical skills to create the Story of Cancer Store with MagentoGo. My brother Drew and I are still filling the store up with all my STUFF (amazing how much one accumulates without really meaning too).
I'm "selling out" to support the Story of Cancer Foundation. Creating the Story of Cancer Store taught five new ecom lessons including:
New Ecommerce Lesson #1 - Stores For AllCreating the Story of Cancer Store took about four days. The next MagentoGo Store I create will take half that time. Creating stores is so much easier than FoundObjects.com (Now RIP sadly). When I created FoundObjects.com in 1999 it took $5K and six months. Granted I was learning as I went, even so the store we built couldn't have been done in less than a couple of months even by season pros.
Comparing 4 days to two months is an accurate yardstick for how far we've come. Soon you will be able to create a store in a matter of hours. Store are SEO powerful because:
Ecom Stores Rock SEO Because...
- Ping Rate is HIGH.
- Stores Rock UGC.
- Stores complete an online brand.
- Stores are cheap ways to capture traffic.
User Generated Content (UGC) is content you can't BUY, but must earn. UGC has many forms including social signals (likes, shares and tweets), reviews and comments. Stores generate UGC at a higher frequency than most other kinds of content.
Stores add an important dimension to any brand. If you are selling something you are different than if you aren't (period and full stop). Your ability to be an intelligent merchant even if all you sell is your branded SWAG tells prospects a lot about your willingness to walk your Internet marketing talk.
Finally stores are CHEAP ways to net new traffic and bolster your site's existing SEO.
New Ecommerce Lesson #2 - Stores Are EASYBrand Fuel and his excellent team will do everything. You may make less money that way, but, and this is true for many B2B brands, stores are valuable for what they bring to the other marketing tactics you deploy.
If Danny's Blue Cross store never makes a dime it still lowers Blue Cross' costs and helps complete their Internet marketing. Cheap and easy marketing tactics like creating a store or having someone else create one for you are few and far between these days. Take advantage of this one.
New Ecommerce Lesson #3: Stores Are VisualVisual marketing is a MAJOR trend. Pictures sell and there are few environments more visual than a store. Creating a store helps your team perfect their eye. They will "get it" and export their visual marketing skills to your content marketing. Scoop.it's "Lean Content Movement" is about getting your message across FAST and with stunning and aligned visuals. Stores teach those skills faster than any school you could attend.
New Ecommerce Lesson #4: Stores Tell StoriesYou can't sell things without serious storytelling chops. You can read books about how to tell stories, but the need to create 100 or 200 stories with 10% of those products changing every quarter teaches "ditch digging" story telling skills. Ditch digging storytelling skills are about getting in, setting a HOOK and getting out. Ditch digging storytelling is about conversion and emotional connection. No book can teach you those skills half as well as creating a store.
[See note in comments below. Mark Traphagen, the creator of the Haiku Deck above, asked to amplify how stores tell stories so I shared a story :) ]
New Ecommerce Lesson #5: Stores Are FUNWe LOVE to shop. Shopping is FUN because we are exposed to new ideas, stories and what our friends think about things. We get to know each other better faster by how we shop, what we buy and our reaction to those things we purchase. If you sell a $1M Software As A Service SaaS most of the FUN is behind a curtain.
A new customer signs on and you pop the champagne. Problem is your tribe of supporters and advocates don't feel part of that accomplishment. Stores create a commons everyone can easily contribute to AND it is socially appropriate to do so. If you sell an expensive SaaS a store with your team's favorite and related books creates a new (and cheap) "commons" for communication. Your brand feels more REAL and human too.
In a time of unlimited abundance and competition we buy from those we love. Five years from now EVERYONE will have a store (B2B or B2C) because benefits from creating stores so outstrip their costs. Why wait to be the 500th B2B store. Why not be one of the first 10? If you asked me how teams I've managed made more than $30M online I would say because we NEVER walked past an opportunity where the OVER (what we stood to gain) was so clearly 10x the UNDER (what the idea would cost us).
Lead, follow or become boring and a dinosaur. Open a store because you CAN and because, particularly if you are a B2B SaaS, what you will gain is so much greater than the cost.
Please VISIT and BUY from the Story of Cancer Store. Every purchase provides tax deductible assistance for our Story of Cancer Foundation and our first project CureCancerStarter.org, a crowdfunding platform developed with leading cancer researchers to help fund the cure for cancer.
You In?Here are helpful links so you know I'm not crazy, just in a hurry :).
Martin W. Smith, Director Marketing Atlantic BT
Martin Marty Smith on Facebook
Martin Marty Smith on Linkedin
Martin W. Smith on G+