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Archive for the ‘Ecommerce’ Category

December 11th, 2007

What is Green Monday - the Busiest Online Shopping Day of the Year

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Comparison Shopping Engine, Ecommerce, Internet Marketing, PPC, Paypal, Retailing, Yahoo Store, eBay

Hot off the news, yesterday, December 10, marked the busiest online shopping day of the year for eBay.

Here’s some info from Business Wire:

While Cyber Monday remains an important milestone because it marks the beginning of the online holiday shopping season, data from eBay Inc. companies indicates that online shopping actually peaks on the second Monday in December. eBay Inc. companies have named Continue Reading »

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November 30th, 2007

Hackersafe Is Stupid - But It Works

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Conversion Rate, Ecommerce, Internet Marketing, Retailing, Yahoo Store

Adding the Hackersafe badge on a already secured Yahoo store is probably the stupidest idea ever in the history of business - considering that it costs $1200 a year per site and does really nothing (for a Yahoo store anyway) besides adding a security badge on your website.

O well, as stupid as it is, it works… the conversion rate among my 3 websites increased by 20% overnight…

Go figure.

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November 25th, 2007

Online Retailers - Get Ready For Cyber Monday!

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Ecommerce, Internet Marketing, Retailing, Yahoo Store

For those of you who’re not familiar, the term Cyber Monday refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season in the United States between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.

Whereas Black Friday is associated with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, “Cyber Monday” symbolizes a busy day for online retailers. The premise was that consumers would return to their offices after the Black Friday weekend, making purchases online that they were not able to make in stores. While the idea has not survived the test of time with sales data from recent years, however, Cyber Monday has evolved into a significant marketing event, sponsored by the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org division, in which online retailers offer low prices and promotions.

As an online retailer, you need to get your store ready for this big day. The couple most important factors include a clear shipping and refund policy, cyber Monday promotions, and most important - watch your advertising dollars to make sure they’re producing results. It is not unusual for Cyber Monday ad spending and search volume to triple - remember to monitor them closely!

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October 28th, 2007

Google Page Rank Updated

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Ecommerce, Google, Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

Google just updated the page rank two days ago, so please check it out to see if you website are getting some Google love!

Don’t know how to check Google Page Rank?

Just download the google toolbar and you’ll see.

Don’t know what page rank is? Um… sorry this blog is not for you.

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October 23rd, 2007

Why You Don’t Want To Be Market Pioneer In The Digital Age

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Business Opportunities, China, Ecommerce, General Business, Internet Marketing, Retailing

In my last post, I talked about how it is not the right time to get into ecommerce in China. And a lot of people asked me, “As an entrepreneur, aren’t you supposed to solve those problems?”

Yes, entrepreneurs are supposed to solve problems. But not if the cost is too big.

Here’s why you don’t want to be a market pioneer in the digital age:

1. Exponentially higher development cost - in the industrial age, where productions rely on machineries and physical infracstructures, the development cost of market followers are not that much lower than the pioneer. The reason is developing and producing a machinery requires component and parts which cost money. For example, if it costs $10M to produce the first automatic cleaning machine, it will still cost $3-4M to reproduce it.

However, in the digital age, when what businesses need are more information technology, online services, and software programs, there is an exponentially higher cost of development for the market pioneer. For example, while if it costs $10M to custom made a software, the cost to reproduct it? Almost zero.

2. Less customer loyalty - in the digital age, when one store to another just barely a click away, it is becoming harder to build up customer loyalty. That means even if you company’s market share is 30% this year, it may very well be much less than that next year. Because of this lack of customer loyalty, the benefit of being the first one to enter a marketplace has significantly reduced.

Combining higher initial risk and lower potential reward, I hope you see why you no longer want to be a market pioneer in the digital age.

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October 20th, 2007

China’s E-commerce Opportunities

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Business Opportunities, China, Ecommerce, General Business, Internet Marketing, Retailing

When I was in Hong Kong this summer, a lot of people asked me if I will try to setup some sort of presence in China for my ecommerce company. And I will always tell them no.

Here’re the problems I see associated with doing ecommerce in China or Hong Kong at this moment (in order of importance):

1. Lack of supporting industries - the supporting industries of ecommerce is pretty well developed in North America and in Europe. E-commerce’s supporting industries include shopping cart system, fulfillment centers, payment processors, inventory management, marketing venues… Without these supporting industries, enterprises have to build these infrastructures or programs from ground up, and it is very costly to do. I’ll elaborate more on this point later.

2. Problem with financial infrastructure and logistics - do you know it is STILL a pain in the back to pay online using credit card or Paypal in China? It is even harder for them to take out money from Paypal, not to mention the exuberant fees. This alone can deter a lot of online shopping activites. Besides, the postal service and logistics are far behind in China than in North America. If you think USPS is bad? Think again. Some areas in China don’t even have roads or addresses.

3. Can they afford spending that much yet? - While there’re more and more high income families and a surge in the no. of middle income households, the spending ability in China is still relatively low compared with Europe, N. America, Australia, Japan, and Korea. The avg. income are about USD$500/month. Without the kind of profit margin we achieve elsewhere, it is hard to justify going into China.

4. New Rich Mentallity - Many people tries to bring up the point that, “But there’re more and more rich Chinese families”. That is true. But you have you understand that because they are new rich, they prefer going OUT to shop to show their wealth, NOT hiding at home and purchase things online.

5. Denser Population - The population of China is concentrated in the coastal area, in particular the higher income group. With denser population and denser cities, offline shopping is often preferred with more convenience and wide enough selection of choices.

6. Internet is about widening, not narrowing - another problem with setting up an ecommerce website in China is that you’re limiting yourself with Chinese reading population. When I setup a website in English, not only am I selling to all native English speakers but everyone else from other countries who are able to read English. O and the cost of setting up a web presence is the same everywhere.

Now I’m not saying that ecommerce is not going to be a huge business opportunity in China sometime down the road, but at least not now, and not for the next 3-4 years to come.

Another question I get a lot is - “So why can’t you be the first one to solve those problems? That’s what an entreprenuer does.” I’ll explain to you in my next post why I believe it is no longer beneficial to be the market pioneer in the digital age.

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October 16th, 2007

Another New Site Launch: BabyGiftsUnique.com

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Ecommerce, General Business, Retailing, Yahoo Store

As promised last week, we’re launching a new ecommerce site again today, www.BabyGiftsUnique.com, which will focus on selling baby gifts and maternity related products.

This is our company’s 5th ecommerce site and we’re going to launch at least two more at Febuary 2008. We’re really pumped and excited to see how this new site will do because the pet site we launched last week is already doing great.

So if you are a parent with a baby or soon to have a baby or if you are attending a baby shower soon, go check it out and give me your thoughts; and if you’re not, that’s ok too, just tell your friends about it. If you can even blog about it or link to it from your website, that would be fantastic. Again - anything is welcomed!

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October 12th, 2007

New Site Launch: PetPetSupplies.com

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Ecommerce, General Business, Retailing

I’m glad to announce that we’re launching a new ecommerce site today, www.PetPetSupplies.com, which will focus on selling pet supplies and related products.

This is our company’s 4th ecommerce site and we’re going to launch another one next week and at least two more at Febuary 2008. Needless to say, we’re really pumped and excited to see how well these new sites will do.

So if you are a pet lover, go check it out and give me your thoughts; and if you’re not, that’s ok too, just tell your pet loving friends about it, or you can even blog about it or link to it from your website. Anything is welcomed!

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October 10th, 2007

4 Things Google Checkout Need to Do To Take Paypal

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Ecommerce, Google, Google Adwords, Google Checkout, PPC, Paypal, Yahoo Store, eBay

Google Checkout has launched for over a year and if you look at the marketplace right now, even though they had made a huge effort in promoting it (free processing, gift certificates…), the adoption of Google checkout is still not as prevalent as they (or I) want it to be.

How do I know it is not doing too hot? Just do some random searches on Google and you’ll see that not many advertisers have the Google Checkout badge next to their ad.

Here’re couple suggestions as to what Google checkout needs to do in order to give Paypal a run for their money:

1. Get on eBay

eBay being the biggest auction marketplace website in the world. It is a huge disadvantage to not be able to be used on eBay. Now, this is easier said than done of course, because eBay owns Paypal, which is Checkout’s biggest competitor. But is it possible to assert some pressure on eBay with the Adwords thing?

2. Get on Yahoo Store

Yahoo store is probably the biggest ecommerce platform online. If Checkout can do a join venture with Yahoo store just like what Paypal did, a lot more Yahoo merchants are going to adopt it. I know for a fact that many Yahoo store merchants want to take Google Checkout but don’t know where to get it integrated. (btw, it can be done) The main problem Yahoo store has with Google checkout is the TOS of Google checkout requires the checkout button to occur BEFORE the cart, which then violates the TOS of Yahoo store. Seems like for this to happen, some compromise has to be reached.

3. More benefits for Adwords Advertiser

Instead of giving free processing for the amount merchants advertise on Adwords, how about giving free adwords for the amount merchants process through Google Checkout? If Google checkout does that, I can see merchants pushing Google Checkout REALLY hard.

4. Buy Bill Me Later

Bill Me Later is one of the most widely adopted and fastest growing alternative payment method on the market. Google, you guys have so much money and have invested so much on Checkout already. Why not buy Bill Me Later? If you can buy it and somehow integrate the 2. The potential is unlimited.

I’m really tired of seeing Paypal dominating the online payment processing game, and I do believe Checkout is a superior product to Paypal. So guys at Checkout, please see if these suggestions are feasible for you.

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October 3rd, 2007

WholesaleCollegeTextbooks.com Got a New Look!

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Comparison Shopping Engine, Ecommerce, Retailing

One of our site WholesaleCollegeTextbooks.com just got a new look! It lays out the foundation of the changes we are going to implement on it in the next couple months - changing it from a regular ecommerce site to a shopping comparison engine specifically for college students.

So please go check it out and let me know what you think about the design!

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