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Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
4 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
Private Labeling: Yes or No? | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
Here's another favorite of the "let's screw the sheeple" crowd. This is usually presented as a component of the Amazing Amazon Business they're going to cheat you how to build. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the only thing you have to worry about is anybody ELSE you might listen to. Here's another favorite of the "let's screw the sheeple" crowd. This is usually presented as a component of the Amazing Amazon Business they're going to cheat you how to build. They tell you that you need to get "unique" products into the marketplace and create your own brand with a "Private Label" because it will be impressive and cool and people will buy lots of it and love you. NO. First, let's think about the concept of "unique". On the Internet, people search for things they know about. They know about those things because of something called Consumer Awareness. Consumer Awareness is created by the manufacturing companies that make products. They do it by spending tens of millions of dollars in real-world mass media advertising. They have to do that. If they don't, the big-box stores won't carry their products because consumers won't know about them and they'll be harder to sell. Yes, it's a thing, and has been forever both in the physical world and online. Make sense so far? So, "unique" products are by definition..."unique". That means there is NO general Consumer Awareness. Most people don't know about them. They're new and unique. Here's a news flash for the Scam Boys. The internet is based on Search. So is Amazon. So is eBay. The only way a consumer can find a product is if they search for it. That means they have to know what it is. If it's "unique", they don't know what it is, and will never search for it. That means you can't make any money with it. DUH. Now let's talk about the "Private Label" thing. Labeling is about branding in the Real Business World. Brands are created to instill confidence in consumers, so they will keep coming back to the brand and buy it over and over again because if the brand is built right, consumers TRUST it. It takes years and tens of millions (sometimes hundreds of millions) of dollars to create a brand strong enough that large numbers of consumers will trust it enough to make it worthwhile to manufacture and sell. Slapping a sticky label that says "Joe's Coffemakers" on a cheap product from China is NOT creating a brand! Which would you rather buy? A Joe's Coffeemaker, or a Cuisinart Coffeemaker? See what I mean? This whole Private Label thing was created by some skeezy marketer somewhere as a way to make you feel cool because you "own a brand". It has ZERO value in the retail marketing world. They'll charge you tens of thousands of dollars to "teach you" how to create that brand. For all that money, you get told to slap sticky labels on cheap stuff from China, and you end up NOT owning a brand. You own some sticky labels, a bunch of junk from China and a miserable future trying to get rid of that cheap crap that you "Private Labeled". Don't do it, please. To learn to start a REAL online business that actually makes a full time living, check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at Chris Malta.com. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time.
11 minutes | Apr 10, 2021
Product Pricing: Do It Right! | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
Ever wonder why so much product pricing ends in 95 or 99 cents? Those are known as “charm prices”. They use what we call the “Left Digit Effect” to apply retail psychology to product pricing. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Product Pricing: Do It Right When I teach ECommerce, product pricing is always required learning. People have such horribly skewed notions about product pricing that it's always an eye-opener for them. Before we get into it, it's very important to understand that if we’re going to talk about product pricing, we need to talk about WHERE you sell online. The worst thing you can possibly do to ANY small retail business is to put it squarely in the path of a crazed, charging herd of the most bargain-hunting consumers on the planet. A small home-based EBiz simply can’t compete in a serious bargain-hunting situation. It doesn’t yet have the buying power that the much bigger companies do. That means that the home-based EBiz pays a higher wholesale price per product and can’t make any profit when competing on price in front of consumers who are specifically bargain-hunting. This is why it’s so difficult for a small EBiz to succeed on eBay and Amazon. Over the past several years, these huge bargain-shopping venues have become favorite hangouts for large wholesale and manufacturing companies who sell directly on eBay and Amazon, often under anonymous seller names. They can undercut any small business on price. They thrive in price-driven destination sites like eBay and Amazon, and that leaves you out in the cold. If you’re not making at least a 20% to 45% profit on your sales, you’re not going to make a living at it. So where should you be selling? The best place for a home-based EBiz is, always has been and always will be on it’s own web site. Why? Because your best customers are those who are searching for what they REALLY WANT, not for the lowest possible product pricing. When consumers are bargain hunting, they tend to go DIRECTLY to eBay, Amazon, Walmart.com, etc. However, when they search for what they REALLY WANT, they go to Google. Far, far more consumers search for products on Google than on eBay, Amazon and Walmart.com COMBINED. Consumers who search on exactly what they really want are doing what’s called “Discretionary Purchasing”. When people are buying on a Discretionary basis, they aren’t nearly as concerned about product pricing as they are about quality and getting exactly what they want. THAT is the sweet spot for retail businesses either online or offline. Discretionary consumers far outnumber bargain-hunting consumers, and they will pay a reasonable retail price to get what they want. For a small business, that translates directly to reasonable profits. I know, I know; you might be selling on eBay or Amazon. However, all that had to be said in order to talk about product pricing. The rest of this discussion pertains to ANY place that you’re going to set a retail price. 1. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PRICING Ever wonder why so much product pricing ends in 95 or 99 cents? Those are known as “charm prices”. They use what we call the “Left Digit Effect” to apply retail psychology to product pricing. That effect is the fact that a nickel, or even a single penny will have an effect on a retail buyer that is HUGELY disproportionate to the actual money value in the price. Most people who sell online tend to use the Left Digit Effect without really understanding why, because we’re all exposed to it on a daily basis in our own lives. However, many also ‘mix and match’ product pricing, and doing that throws off the consumer. Consistency is the most important thing when it comes to the Left Digit Effect. Either always use it, or never use it. Either always use 95 or always use 99. I’ve consulted for an amazing number of EBiz sites that use 95, 99, 00, 50, 67, 97 and so on as Left Digits in their product pricing ALL on the same site! Psychology is an amazingly important aspect of retail sales. When consumers see a mix of Left Digit pricing, it throws them off. They feel like something isn’t right, but they don’t know what it is. Any time a consumer feels like something isn’t right on your retail EBiz pages, your chances of making a sale drop tremendously. 99 and 95 are the most commonly used Left Digit Effect numbers, and you should stick to them but never mix and match; either always 99 or always 95. 2. SALE PRICES – THE EXCEPTION Running a sale? Use 00 for your Left Digit Effect. Psychologically, the 00 doesn’t work well for normal everyday product pricing. It tends to make the prices look high to us. However, when it’s used sparingly in an occasional Sale Price, it looks low. That only works, though, when you use the Sale technique SPARINGLY. Many of the sites I’ve consulted for use the old, hackneyed technique of making everything on their pages a Sale price. You’ve seen that, right? EBiz pages that list the ‘Regular’ price, cross it out and list the ‘Sale’ price below it, then list the ‘You Save’ amount below that. On ALL their product pricing. Hey, maybe you’ve done that or even do it now; it’s very commonly used by those who simply have not been told any different. It’s no crime not to be aware of something. The crime is being aware of something that hurts your business and not fixing it! The technique of making everything look like a Sale price no longer works. Online consumers are much sharper than they used to be, and view that technique as something designed to fool them. When people hit your product pages and think you’re trying to fool them, you’d have better success trying to sell baby shoes to a rock. So use 00 as a Left Digit Effect for actual Sale prices, but run actual Sales sparingly and only on a few items at a time. You’ll have much better success with it. 3. HOW TO SET PRICES Setting prices is all about research. I know; painful, right? Hey, you know the old saying…no pain, no gain. That’s especially true for business owners. Researching product pricing means that you need to find the exact same product being sold by 6 of your most annoying competitors. Why are they annoying? Well, because they’re competing with you! How annoying is that! In reality, competition is a GOOD thing. It raises consumer awareness that a product exists, and brings more people into the marketplace to buy it. However, it does mean that you have to compete for those customers. The biggest mistake that EBiz owners make here is in trying to UNDERCUT their competitors' product pricing. You don’t need to do that when you sell to Discretionary buyers. Selling is about providing your customer with what they need and want through proper presentation. If you can do that, price becomes secondary, especially to the Discretionary buyer. Another point that’s important to make is that if you get into a price war with competing EBiz owners, that war only ends badly for both of you because it ends when there is no profit margin left in the product. Game over. So, find 6 other web sites that sell the same EXACT product, add up their prices, and divide by 6. That gives you the average price of your competition, and that’s where you should be. Psychologically, a product that has a price that ‘blends in’ well with other prices in the product’s market shifts the consumers’ attention away from the price and toward the value and benefit statements you make in your on-page marketing. If you have a web site, DO NOT use eBay, Amazon or Walmart.com to research competitive price points even if they do show up high in the search engines when you do your research. A well-marketed niche web site can beat eBay, Amazon and those big bargain stores in the search engines all day long if they know what they’re doing, and learning how to do that should be your goal as an EBiz owner. Consumers who shop on a Discretionary basis mostly shop sites other than the bargain hunting destinations, and that’s where you should focus your product pricing research. If you do all your research on eBay, Amazon, etc., the price competition results are only going to show you how little (if any) profit there is available there, and that’ll just give you a headache. Genuinely sorry to say that if you’re an eBay or Amazon seller, because if you are you MUST do your research on eBay or Amazon. I hate to say it, but it’s the truth. 4. ZEROING IN ON EXACT PRICE When it comes to actually setting the exact price for a product after you’ve done your research, it might be helpful to make a note of this site: PricePoints.com. That site lists commonly used retail price points from 0.00 all the way up to 10,000. Use it as a guideline, though, not as hard-and-fast rules. PricePoints.com is a good place to get ideas for your RIGHT DIGIT price numbers; the actual dollars in your price to the right of the decimal point. Look at the average product pricing you got from your research, then find the closest dollar value in PricePoints. That's likely going to be an effective dollar value for you. However, if it’s too far off the average that you researched, disregard it and use your average. Then, apply either 95 or 99 to ALL your price points for the Left Digit Effect, and you’re good to go. Remember to keep your product pricing consistent! Note: some internet marketers make a big deal of the number 97 as a Left Digit Effect. That works much better for information sales than it does for physical product sales, so don’t get sucked into that idea when you sell physical products! Learn more thoroughly amazing and incredibly important stuff. Check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com!
14 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
Brand Your Site, Increase Your Sales | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
When I consult for ECommerce businesses or teach EBiz owners who already have sites, one of the things that stands out the most to me is the total lack of an Identity Package for that ECommerce business. An Identity Package helps to set the tone for site design, marketing style, and the entire Brand of the business...which always leads to more sales. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the only time you WON'T hear the truth, is AFTER YOU LEAVE! When I consult for ECommerce businesses or teach EBiz owners who already have sites, one of the things that stands out the most to me is the total lack of an Identity Package for that ECommerce business. An Identity Package helps to set the tone for site design, marketing style, and the entire Brand Identity of the business. A well-constructed Branding Identity is an absolute MUST for ANY business to be truly successful, online or offline. For an EBiz, an Identity Package for branding consists of three things: 1. A GOOD SITE NAME I’m often surprised by the number of people who have taken bad advice or learned the wrong things and given their web sites names that will do nothing for their business at best, and hurt it at worst. I don’t blame the site owners; there’s a tremendous amount of bad info floating around out there. However, when it comes to branding, they do need to learn how to do it right. How many times have you seen a site named something like “MyGreatBargains.com”, or “GreatBuys4U.com”, or “BigPlaceFullOfExcellentThingsAtLowPrices.com”? Okay, that last one is a stretch, but you know what I mean, right? Actually, that was a trick question. You probably only rarely come across sites with a names like that. Why? Because they don’t rank well in the search engines, and hardly ever get found by shoppers. The reason they don’t rank well is another topic altogether; perhaps a discussion for another day, but I’ll mention it here in passing. They don’t rank because they’re trying to sell a whole bunch of different products on the same web site. Those products all have widely different Keywords in their product names and marketing content. Google and the other search engines rank best on RELEVANT Keyword content; Keywords that they know are related to one another in some way. So, when the search engines see a site that has page after page of words describing products that the search engine knows are NOT related to one another, that site doesn’t rank well n omatter how good it's branding might be. Period. Yep, I know, big-box stores that carry widely varied stuff seem to rank pretty well, don’t they. However, that’s for different reasons altogether, and they can be beaten with highly targeted web sites. For that reason and many others, small home-based EBiz sites need to sell ONLY one specific product line per site in order to do well in the search engines. As I said, though, that’s a topic for another time. There are LOTS of details involved in making an ECommerce business successful, and right now we're talking about ONE of those things: Branding. So let’s get back to our conversation about an Identity Package, with site names being the first thing to learn. A site name needs to reflect what it sells. On a properly built, web site with thoughtful branding, that will be something very specific. However, it can’t just be “Toasters.com”. For one thing, that name is already taken, which most of the best product-descriptive names are. For another, though, a site name needs to connect with its consumer demographic. To connect with its consumer demographic, the business owner needs to know who that consumer demographic IS. I'll talk about that in another post in this blog. Back to names, now. Let’s say that an EBiz owner sells a very specific line of toasters that is best suited for a female audience (a demographic) made up of older women who have a serious passion for baking and cooking. What site name do you think would appeal more to that consumer audience? – BestToasters4U.com – CheapToasters.com – CozyKitchenToasters.com If you picked the last one, you’re right. A site name, like everything else in marketing, needs to tell part of a story and also make an emotional connection with its consumers. That's part of branding. CozyKitchenToasters.com evokes a warm, comfortable, familiar place where family gathers and great food is carefully made with lots of love. The other two choices, well…don’t. So, you can see the difference between thoughtless, sales-gimmicky names and a carefully selected audience-driven name, right? Good. That leads us to some of the other things a good site name does. It helps to drive site design. A name like that inspires a site with a warm, rich color palette, a cozy, comfortable graphic treatment and a very personally friendly space. What else does it do? Among other things, it helps to inspire the creation of the second part of an Identity Package for branding. The Tagline. 2. A GOOD TAGLINE These used to be called “slogans”. Now we call them Taglines, or ‘Tags’ for short. A business without a Tagline in it's branding is a business that needs to get one, or close up shop. I cannot stress strongly enough that this is a critical part of your Identity Package, and your Identity Package is a critical part of your branding. Your branding is a critical part of your marketing, and…well, I’m sure you get the idea! In ECommerce, Tag Lines are generally best inspired by site names. The Tag needs to support the name, while at the same time telling another part of the branding story. Professional copywriters who create Taglines often go through dozens, if not more than a hundred different ideas before settling on a good Tag. This is not something to be taken lightly. Remember, it has to support the name, and tell more of the story of the brand. “You’ve tried the rest, now try the best!” isn’t gonna cut it. At one time, that Tag was clever. That’s when it was new, back before humans discovered fire. A good Tagline needs to be short, memorable, part of a story, and supportive of the brand. It needs to CONNECT with people emotionally as well, just like the site name should. Another rule of thumb is that a Tagline shouldn’t ever be more than 3 to 5 words. That makes them much easier for consumers to remember, and that’s what you want. Think of some of the most memorable Tags you know. – Don’t leave home with it (5 words) – You deserve a break today (5 words) – Just Do It (3 words) – The quicker picker-upper (4 words) – The King of beers (4 words) See what I mean? Short, memorable, and telling part of a story. Let’s look at the first one; the American Express Tagline “Don’t Leave Home Without It”. This Tag is using negative reinforcement to create a scary imagined impact if you DON’T have the product. Warning a fellow human being not to leave a safe, comfortable place and go out into the big, bad world without a taking specific thing along makes a very visceral connection with us psychologically. It subconsciously makes us feel like bad, BAD things are going to happen if we leave our home without this thing. Again, it’s psychology. As humans, we look to other humans to warn us of danger, and a need to pay attention to those warnings is deeply ingrained in our psyche. So, a negatively reinforcing Tagline like that works very well in branding. What Tagline would we give our CozyKitchenToasters.com web site? There are lots of possibilities, and there’s a serious amount of research to do before choosing one, but I’ll just throw one out there off the top of my head. (Excuse me while I remove my hat…) Okay, how about: "Real kitchens bake with love". That’s 5 words. Yeah, I know, it sounds a little sappy when you look at it sitting there all by itself. Hey, I spent all of 30 seconds coming up with that; cut me a little slack! BUT, put that Tag together with the site name ‘CozyKitchenToasters.com’ and the right graphic design, and I promise you it will look perfectly natural in that site's branding, make an emotional connection, and tell another part of the story of the site’s Brand. There’s still one thing missing, though. The site name and Tagline will play a part in helping us to design the third and final part of an Identity Package for branding: The Logo. 3. A GOOD LOGO How many times have you seen a web site that just has text in the top left corner of each page that says something like ‘BobsWebSite.com’? Probably too often. That's NOT branding. The top left corner of any page on your web site is the first impression your customers have of your Brand. We all know how important first impressions are. Because we’re raised to read left to right, top to bottom (in most Western cultures, anyway) the first thing we see when our eyes hit a new piece of media, like a web page, is the top left corner of the page. That’s where our brains expect us to start reading, so that’s the first place our eyes go. Sometimes we don’t even realize that, but it happens every time. No matter where we THINK we looked first, our brains instantly register whatever is in that top left corner. The brainiacs at MIT tell us that the human brain can register and recall an image that it sees for as little as 13 MILLISECONDS. That’s 13 one-thousands of a second!! So don’t think for a millisecond that your customers’ brains don’t take whatever is in the top left corner of your web site pages as their first impression of your business and branding; they absolutely do. If that top left corner is a flat, dry, no-personality lump of text that says ‘BobsWebSite.com’, you’ve already lost that customer in their first couple of seconds on your site. At that point even the customer doesn’t consciously realize it yet, but SUBconsciously they already know they’re not going to buy anything from you, because you've killed your branding before it got a chance to get started. A good Logo completes your Identity Package and is a cornerstone of your site’s branding. In a quick, visually symbolic way, a good Logo captures attention, tells yet another part of the Brand story, sets a mood for your customers and much more. Profes
10 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
Make More Sales Online | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
One of the things I see quite often when I work with EBiz owners is the fact that most EBiz owners don’t think hard enough about the distinction between the physical world and the online world when creating web site pages. There are several important things to realize here when you want to make more sales (which is ALWAYS!). Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chis Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the only thing we DON'T know is how to do it WRONG! One of the things I see quite often when I work with EBiz owners is the fact that most EBiz owners don’t think hard enough about the distinction between the physical world and the online world when creating web site pages. There are several important things to realize here when you want to make more sales (which is ALWAYS!). 1. YOU CAN’T TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS There’s a process to traditional physical sales that’s worked very well since the first caveman sold a hunting rock to his buddy in exchange for a chunk of meat. A really good salesperson in the physical world understands that process and does it very well. That means that salesperson makes good money in sales. The process they use to make more sales basically goes like this: – You show someone a product. – You ask them questions about what they desire from the product and then speak to those desires and how the product fulfills them. – You talk price and close the sale. That conversation is critical in good physical-world sales. If I go to Sam Ash Music in Orlando and ask a salesperson to see a specific guitar, any good salesperson is going to try to find out what I want from the product. He or she might ask me if I’m going to use the guitar for practice, for fun, to play on stage, to record with, etc. What kind of pickups do I like? What kind of tone am I looking for? What gauge strings do I like to use? My answers to these questions allow the salesperson to either point out that the features I want already exist on that guitar or can be added to that guitar, or point out that I might want to check out a different guitar. During that process, the salesperson is GUIDING ME THROUGH THE SALE. If he or she does a good really job of controlling that process and guiding me through the sale, I’m most likely going to buy the product. That salesperson is always going to make more sales than one who doesn't know how to do that. Online, though, there’s something very important that’s missing from this time-tested process. You can’t talk to your customer about what they desire from the product. You can’t physically guide them through the sale with questions and answers. So what do you do to make more sales? 2. VISUAL MARKETING WORKS ONE-WAY When you think about it, the entire marketing process online is VISUAL. From your product pictures to your written site content, your articles, blogs, public forum participation, social marketing, video content…everything you do is ONE-WAY, from you to your customer, and it’s all VISUAL. Just like it’s easy to mistake someone’s tone in an email when you can’t see their expressions and body language in person, it’s easy to visually confuse people on your site and in your marketing. In the many years I’ve spent teaching Ecommerce business owners how to fix sites that don’t work, I can’t even attempt to count the number of times I’ve seen web sites that are so visually confusing that I feel like I’m looking at them through a psychotic kaleidoscope. Most web site owners (and yes, eBay sellers too) try to make more sales by cramming so much STUFF onto a single page that it simply descends into visual chaos right from the top of the page. It’s not the site owners’ fault, because that’s what EBiz owners see everybody ELSE doing. However, when you understand that literally more than 97% of the Ebiz sites online never provide a full time income for their owners, it’s easy to see that this is one of the reasons. ‘Busy’ pages don’t work well visually. They’re too confusing. Online shoppers move very quickly as a rule, and a busy, confusing page turns off an online shopper faster than their cat peeing on their keyboard. We’ve already established that this is one-way visual marketing. You can’t stand over your customers’ shoulders and direct their attention through that confusion for them. Your pages need to do the visual directing all by themselves! They can only do that if they are clean, clear, intuitive, AND focused on one thing at a time. That's the only way those pages are going to make more sales. Visual marketing is a PROCESS. In that process, EACH PAGE of your site needs to accomplish the following things for your customer: – Professionalism – Legitimacy – Engagement – Action – Closure You have 3 to 7 seconds to move someone’s eyes to a single focal point on any given page. That’s because people are at their peak level of interest and attention for anywhere from 3 to 7 seconds after they first hit a new piece of media (your web page). After that first 3 to 7 seconds, their interest and attention begin to drop off, and you’ve lost that Magic Moment when you had your one BEST chance to capture their interest. That’s one reason that confusing web pages lead to miserable sales; it takes way too much time to wade through the confusion. Other reasons are that confusing pages are hard to follow, don’t speak well of your Brand, and are just too much work for the typical fast-moving online shopper. 3. UNDERSTANDING THE VISUAL MARKETING PROCESS If you want to make more sales in your online business, you need an understanding of the Visual Sales Process. So how do you establish a visual process that leads your customer to a sale instead of chasing them away? Let’s explore that process again, with some added notes. – Professionalism: Your customers MUST feel that they are dealing with a professional company. Professionalism is immediately established (or not!) by the top left corner of any given page in your site. That’s where they Site Name, Tagline and Logo belong, as we talked about )in a previous post). That’s your “Identity Package”. That’s what your customer will notice first, and first impressions are everything. Make sure you learn how to put together a truly great Identity Package. – Legitimacy: Your customers must immediately feel that you’re a legitimate company. This is a function of how easy it is for them to contact you directly. It’s best established by a toll-free Customer Service phone number at the top right of every page on your site. It’s actually very inexpensive (about $20 a month) and it’s will definitely help you make more sales. – Engagement: You have to create a SINGLE focal point on each page of your web site that contains the ONE THING that your customer needs to do on that page in order to further the sale. This is why you can’t jumble up a nasty mess of multiple product buy buttons, “free shipping” tags, coupons, ads, flashy graphics splattered all over the page, and all the rest of that garbage. When you do that, you create MULTIPLE focal points for your customers’ eyes, and they get lost, confused, and then they leave. You can't make more sales when your customers leave your site. Engaging a customer’s eyes means catching their attention with something that moves their eyes toward your focal point. You can do this really well by placing an image of a person USING your product near the upper middle portion of your page, above and usually slightly to the left of the focal point. That person in the image should be LOOKING TOWARD your focal point; your customers will follow the eyes of the person in the image. – Action: This is what happens when you successfully establish Professionalism, Legitimacy and Engagement. At this point, your customer has landed on the focal point of your page, and takes an ACTION. On a Home Page, the focal point is usually images that clearly represent your categories. On a Category Page, the focal point is a group of clean, clear product images (NOT prices and buy buttons!) that represent the products in that Category. On a Product Page, the focal point is the product image itself, the description, and the Buy button. If your page’s visual sales process quickly and effectively moves your customer to your focal point, your customer will click on it. Get a customer to click on a Category image on your home page, and it’s much more likely they’ll click on a Product image in the Category, and then MUCH more likely they’ll buy the product once they hit the Product page. That is, if you effectively move their eyes through the visual sales process on each of those pages. – Closure: This is what happens when your customer buys the product and completes the sale. Always keep in mind that most of your customers will land somewhere in the MIDDLE of your site, not on your Home Page. That’s just one more reason that EVERY page must be clean, clear and be built with an effective visual sales process! I've been doing this for 25 years, and I'll teach YOU how to do it. Check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com!
7 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
EBiz Competition: Too Much? NO. | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
EBiz Competition - Myth or Reality? Far too many people worry about the levels of competition in online business, when the truth is that there's actually very little, and here's why. Subscribe to the Show! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the TRUTH about EBiz is the ONLY thing you'll ever hear. Here are some thing I hear from people all the time. “How can my online business compete with eBay and Amazon?” "How can I compete with all those big stores?” “Aren’t there too many online stores already?” “There’s no room left to compete!” Well, “competition” is a big and scary word. Not big meaning ‘long-big’. A ‘long-big’ word would be something like Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicavolcanoconiosis. Now that's a long-big word! No, the word “competition” is different. It’s “big” meaning all-encompassing; a generalization. Most people don’t really understand what “competition” actually IS. Google, bless it’s googly little algorithmic heart, defines the word as “the person or people with whom one is competing, especially in a commercial or sporting arena; the opposition.” Here’s the important part: “The person or people with whom one is competing”. And only those people. Because online business and the internet itself seem to be so big and all-encompassing, people often forget that internet users do not see the entire internet all at the same time when they search for something online. Yet that’s what they base this fear of competition on; that somebody searching for a set of dog socks on Google can somehow magically see every single store, every single page and every single price for every single pair of dog socks on the internet all at the same time! The reality is very different. When you search for a product on Google (and we always talk about Google because it’s by far the biggest and most influential search engine) what do you see? You see some “display ads” up in the top right corner. Those are the paid advertisements with pictures. Then the first 4 search results you see are paid ads as well (you can tell because they all say “AD” next to them). Then you see the natural listings; the pages that for whatever reason, deserved or not (but usually not deserved), have worked their way up to the top natural rankings in Google. Here’s a little-known factoid for ya. The human eye can “subitize” (meaning “perceive a number of separate items in a group without actually counting”) only about 4 to 5 separate objects at a time. A single paid ad link on a SERP (a search engine results page) is perceived as a single OBJECT. A single NATURAL page link on a SERP is perceived as a single OBJECT. So people CANNOT effectively see THE ENTIRE INTERNET AND EVERY SET OF DOG SOCKS ON IT ALL AT ONCE. They can only EFFECTIVELY see 4 or 5 objects at a time. That just begs the question…does 4 or 5 search results sound like a LOT of online business competition to you? I’m guessing that you’re thinking, “no”. Now, here’s the kicker. Add to that the fact that the search results that people see first are psychologically interpreted as the most important and relevant results, and that vast macro-cosmos of millions of perceived competitors that so many people are afraid of has just shrunk to a number of competitors that you can count on one hand. Now, if that's scary, you shouldn't even think about starting an online business (because it’s NOT scary, and if you think it is, well…you get the point). Let’s throw yet another fact into the mix. People will always favor natural search engine results over paid ads. In fact, the search engine listings that gather the most clicks by far, are the first 3 natural listings (the ones that are highest on the page, but are not ads). Most people are TIRED of ads! So... Natural result #1 for any given search online gets about 40% of all clicks. Natural result #2 gets about 18 to 20% of all clicks. Natural result #3 gets about 8 to 10% of all clicks. So there you have it. Nearly 70% of all clicks on a search engine results page are done on the top 3 natural results. Your competition just shrunk some more. Feeling better about it? You should be feeling a LOT better about it. SO WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE FEAR “HUGE” COMPETITION LEVELS? Well, to answer that question we have to discuss that bane of our existence; the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench, the hair in our soup…the online business "marketers". These fake gurus spend a lot of time whipping up a false frenzy about massive online competition that ONLY their Super-Secret Systems And Tools Made From Unicorn Dust And Sunshine can ever break through. They tell you over and over and over and over and over again that the only way you will ever be found among the millions of other sets of competing dog socks online that people somehow magically see all at once is to use their Amazing Systems. They tell you (eventually, over time, so as not to sticker-shock you) that you’ll need to pay them tens of thousands of dollars to create your site, run your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) handle your blog, your social media, etc, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. When you pay them for all that, what they’re REALLY doing is spending about seven and a half minutes copying a basic template and calling it a site, and then installing some useless ‘automated marketing tool’ (which never works) to do the rest. For tens of thousands of dollars. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. Utterly, completely and unequivocally (defined as “In a way that leaves no doubt”) disgusting people, these fake gurus. So we've established that your only real competition are basically the top three listings on a search engine page that are natural, and not paid ads. The false fear that there's too much competition online should now be long-gone in your rear-view mirror. Want to learn how to put YOUR business into those top three pages? Check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. Catch ya next time, and thanks for listening.
10 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Wholesaler Backorders: Why and What To Do | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
When you’re selling online, whether you use Drop Shipping or you physically stock and ship your products, wholesale backorders from your supplier are always a real possibility. As a business owner, it’s really important for you to understand why this happens and what you can do to avoid damage to your online reputation. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where we don't have to PRACTICE telling the truth, because we don't know how to do anything else! When you’re selling online, whether you use Drop Shipping or you physically stock and ship your products, wholesale backorders from your supplier are always a real possibility. Wholesale backorders often seemingly come out of nowhere, and leave you holding the bag, trying to explain to your customer why you suddenly can’t deliver what they bought. To some degree or other, this is almost always the result of the Butterfly Effect, where one small problem in the Supply Chain ripples out across the entire product market. As a business owner, it’s really important for you to understand why this happens and what you can do to avoid damage to your online reputation. So please bear with me as we go through a how a hypothetical "Butterfly Effect" wholesale backorder situation might occur. Sometimes the reasons for these problems are simple, and sometimes they're more complex. I'm going to use a more complex example that touches every aspect of the Supply Chain, because a Supply Chain is something you should understand as a business owner. Then we'll talk about what to do about the problem. Let’s say you’re selling Coffee Makers. The US-based Manufacturer of the coffee makers orders different parts for those coffee makers from different specialized suppliers around the world, and assembles those parts into the finished product in the US. One day, somewhere in China, the machine that punches out the metal bands for the coffee pot handles breaks down. As with many companies in the largely unregulated manufacturing space in China, it’s a very small manufacturing company using a very old machine to punch out those metal bands. The breakdown is a crack in the pressure cylinder that drives the press, and the fix is very difficult. Parts for that machine are impossible to come by, because this small Chinese company bought the 50 year old machine at a cheap price from a Russian surplus equipment dealer and there aren’t any replacement parts to be had. The Chinese company can’t manufacture the metal bands until they repair or replace the machine. They can’t replace it because there aren't any cheap surplus presses to be had, and a newer machine is too expensive for this small manufacturing operation to buy. The small Chinese company is down for 3 weeks while they remove the old cylinder and have a replacement specially made for it by an equipment fabricator in Thailand. This one breakdown and repair delay sends a ripple effect across the entire Supply Chain for your coffee makers. The small Chinese company is operating on a (very common) 3 month lead time. That means that the metal bands they make today, for example, don’t arrive on a ship and get offloaded to a US Customs Port for about 3 months. Because they have that lead time, the Chinese company decides not to notify the US-based manufacturer that they have a problem. They’re afraid of losing their contract, so they keep the delay a secret for as long as they can while they scramble to fix the problem and hope to catch up to their quota in time. The US-based manufacturer happily goes along assembling coffee makers with the parts they have from the delivery of thousands of metal bands that just came in on the last shipment, unaware that one critical part is about to be delayed. Because the Chinese company didn’t tell the US company that there would be a delay, the US company doesn’t go out and look for a replacement supplier for the metal band. The Chinese company gets their machine back up and running 3 weeks later and works overtime trying to make up for the time they were down, but it’s impossible to catch up. The next order they send to the US company is going to be significantly short. Months later, the next shipment of metal bands arrives at the US company’s facility, and it’s far fewer metal bands than it should be. The US company finds out what happened, and is forced to reduce the number of coffee makers they assemble and ship to their wholesale suppliers around the country until they can get their next full shipment of metal bands for the coffeepots. The US company doesn’t want their wholesalers to go looking for other brands of coffee makers to sell, so they decide to delay telling their wholesalers about the upcoming shortage as long as possible until they can come up with a retention strategy that won’t cost them any ill will with their wholesalers. It takes them about a month to burn through their on-hand factory inventory, and then they start to casually notify their wholesalers that future shipments will be short for about 3 months or so. Your wholesaler of the coffee makers you sell only has a fairly small quantity of the coffee makers in stock because they’re trying to manage their cash flow as carefully as possible. They don’t bother to make a general announcement that the coffee makers will be in short supply for a while, because they don’t want to lose retailers. They decide to deal with their retailers on a case-by-case basis, offering discounts on other products in order to retain their retailers while they wait for their supply of that coffee maker to be fully available again. Seven months after the initial equipment breakdown at the Chinese manufacturer of metal bands, you sell a coffee maker to one of your customers on your web site. You place the order with your wholesaler, only then to find out that the coffee maker is out of stock. This is an example of poor Supply Chain management, specifically with regard to the transmission of information throughout the Supply Chain. However, it happens. Now you have a customer that you can’t fill an order for, so you get mad at the wholesaler for not telling you their stock was running out. You’d be right; the wholesaler could have notified its retailers of the problem. However, the delay itself isn’t the wholesaler’s fault; the fault lies with that cracked pressure cylinder in China, and a couple of poor management decisions by other companies in the Supply Chain as well. The Chinese manufacturer could have told the US company that there would be a delay, and the US company might have found a substitution for the metal bands. But, the Chinese company was afraid of losing that large contract if the temporary replacement supplier did a better job than they could. The US company could have warned their wholesalers that the delay was coming, but they didn’t want their wholesalers shopping for other coffee maker brands from other companies in the short term or causing a drop in sales by making any announcements. The wholesaler could have warned their retailers that stock would be low to non-existent for a while, but they didn't want to look bad to their retailers, and decided to ride it out on a case-by-case basis. They also could have looked for other brands of coffee makers to carry, but for a wholesaler that can be a months-long process that gets very costly. These are the kinds of things you need to understand and be prepared for. When you’re in business, one of your primary jobs is to put out fires. They’ll spring up in the strangest places for reasons that are often a complete mystery, but the business owner who reacts well to situations like this is a business owner who succeeds in business. Simply remember that every problem is an opportunity. That’s an old saying, but it’s an old saying for a reason; it’s true, and has stood the test of time. In the situation describe above, for example; what do you do to turn that problem into an opportunity? Let’s take it step by step: 1. As soon as you find out that product is out of stock, mark it "out of stock" on your website. Don't remove the page, because you don't want to lose whatever search engine ranking authority the page has already built up. 2. See if you can buy that same product from another web site; perhaps a big-box store that still has some in their inventory. If you can, buy it and have it shipped to your customer. Make sure you let your customer know what you did for them. The trust and goodwill that comes from that simple act far outweighs the few dollars you have to spend to buy the product elsewhere and send it to your customer. 3. If you can’t get the product anywhere else, contact your customer immediately. Let them know the product is out of stock. Offer them a choice; a similar replacement product at a discount, or an immediate refund. Your immediate and effective response to your customer turns a negative into a positive every time. People will trust and respect a business that takes care of them as a customer. It’s very important to understand that Supply Chains are complex and can be volatile, but the better you understand how they work and how to deal with the problems that arise, the more efficient and successful your business will be. Put my 25 years of ECommerce experience to work for YOU. Check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time!
7 minutes | Apr 3, 2021
EBiz Fulfillment Centers | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
A fulfillment center is a shared warehouse used by small businesses. Why is that important to you? Because if you're selling products online, your ideal situation is to be buying bulk products at wholesale for better profit margins, but having them stored and delivered by someone else. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast; quite possibly the only place left in the UNIVERSE that tells you the TRUTH about ECommerce! Let's talk about fulfillment centers and why we need them. The first thing people tend to think about when you mention fulfillment in relation to ECommerce, is Fulfillment by Amazon. We are NOT talking about fulfillment by Amazon here. In fact, we're not talking about Amazon at all; there is NO profit margin on Amazon for small business owners, no matter how many gibbering ninnies out there want you to think there IS so they can line their pockets selling you junk information. If you're going to sell online, you need to be selling through a Web Site, NOT Amazon. Not eBay either; there hasn't been a decent profit margin available on eBay for a LONG time. If you want to actually make MONEY in product sales online, you need your own web site. And you need a tightly focused NICHE web site that sells a very closely related set of product, not one of those ridiculous automated monstrosities that automatically load a gazillion unrelated products into your page. FOCUSING on a NICHE is the ONLY way to make money with a web site. That's a topic for another day, but I thought it was worth mentioning here. So let's get back to business and talk about fulfillment centers. What's a fulfillment center when it's NOT Amazon? A fulfillment center is a shared warehouse used by small businesses. Why is that important to you? Because if you're selling products online, your ideal situation is to be buying bulk products at wholesale for better profit margins, but having them stored and delivered by someone else. Wait a minute, tho. Buying bulk is expensive. You have to lay out a lot of money to get serious bulk discounts from a wholesaler. So let's back up, start at the start, and go through this point by point. First, when you sell products online for profit through your WEB SITE you always START with drop shipping. Wholesalers who drop ship for you will let you place single item orders, and they'll send them straight to your customers from the warehouse. Of course there's more to drop shipping, but that's another story for another day. Suffice it to say that you should NOT store and ship what you sell in your basement, your living room, in a paid storage unit, in your neighbor Ed's garage...because that's a ridiculous waste of time and energy, and a serious added cost to you. Time is money, after all. That's something home-based business owners don't always think about, but should. Second, once your web site's sales reach the point where you can accurately predict how much product you'll sell 30 days, 60 days or 90 days in the future, you're definitely making enough PROFIT to start buying your products in bulk. When you buy in bulk, your wholesale cost drops and your profit margins rise. Third, when you buy in bulk, you need to buy ALL the products you sell on your site in bulk. We've already talked about the fact that your site needs to be a targeted niche site, so there won't be all that many differnet products you need to buy. If you DON'T buy ALL your products in bulk, then you have some products that are still drop shipped, and others that go through another shipping method. What if somebody buys two or three products from your site, and 1 or 2 of them are sent by different shipping methods? That's multiple shipping charges, and NO customer is going to pay multiple shipping charges! Not even on Amazon or eBay. So all your products always need to be shipped from the same place using the same method. THAT is where fulfillment centers come in. When you buy your products in bulk, you send them to a fulfillment center. Your fulfillment center puts your stuff in warehouse space reserved for you. Then they connect their system to your web site. When your site gets an order, THEY get the order too. They pick, pack and ship your product, and your done! What does it cost? Fulfillment centers are HUGE. They ship tens of thousands of products EVERY DAY. This means they pay pennies on the dollar for shipping through UPS, FeEx and USPS, and they pass the savings to you. Generally, the UNIT cost to store, pick, pack and ship your products FOR you comes out to about the same as you would charge your customer for shipping and handling. I hate to get off track again, but it's also important to mention that your web site should NOT offer free shipping. Free shipping is nothing but a gimmick, it's something that your home-based business can't afford to do, and if you know how to market a product you don't NEED free shipping. So you ARE going to sharge your customers shipping and handling. That's ANOTHER story for another day, though. So back to the topic...your unit cost per product to have the fulfillment center do everything for you comes out to an amount that you can charge back to your customer as shipping and handling (because thats actually what it IS), and you end up with a basically FREE warehouse full of people doing all the work FOR you. So remember: start with drop shipping. When your site makes enough money to use your PROFITS to buy in bulk, buy EVERYTHING you sell in bulk. Send them to a fulfillment center, and let them do all the work. In this business, you should NEVER physcially handle a product. It's time consuming, it takes up a lot of space, and it wastes money. Once you';re in position to start using a fulfilment center, you're helping to streamline your time and your costs, and that's always good business. Where do you look for a fulfillment center? Just Google it. But be SURE to locate a fulfillment center that's as close as possible, like same-city close, to your wholesale supplier. You DO have to pay for the one-time shipping of your bulk product order from the wholesaler TO the fulfillment center. Wholesalers are always located near cities, because they need the highway and railway infrastructure that cities provide. For the same reason, fulfillment centers are always located near cities. So it won't be hard to find one that's close to your wholesale supplier. I've toured fulfillment centers, and they are AMAZING. In fact, several years ago I got a chance to spend some one-one-one time with Roy Speer, the billionaire founder of the Home Shopping Network. VERY interesting guy who took a genuine interest in what we were talking about at the time. I really appreciated that meeting. Anyway, he got me a tour of the Home Shopping Network's fulfillment center in central florida. The place was gigantic. Warehouse space, conveyors, shipping stations, forklifts running around, loading docks full of trucks...if you ever get a chance to check out a fulfillment center first hand, you should. Quite the experience. So that's what you need to know about fulfillment centers. For much more critical and amazingly insightful EBiz information, get my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time!
6 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
AliExpress, Oberlo and Other Disasters
AliExpress is something that highly questionable marketing gurus like Richard Cranium And His Amazing Wealth Machine (and many others) will tell you is a great way to get products drop shipped to your customers directly from China (sigh) at low, low prices (sigh). Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the truth is NOT negotiable. If you haven't heard of AliExpress yet, good. Do your best not to hear of it. If you have heard of AliExpress, run far, far away from anybody who tells you it's a good idea. If you're actually using AliExpress, you have my most sincere sympathies. Really. Okay, okay...I brought it up, I know. So now even if you haven't heard of it I have to talk about it because someday you would hear of it and you need to be protected. AliExpress is something that highly questionable marketing gurus like Richard Cranium And His Amazing Wealth Machine (and many others) will tell you is a great way to get products drop shipped to your customers directly from China (sigh) at low, low prices (sigh). Let's look at this point by point. 1. There is no way you can know whether the supposed 'drop ship supplier' in China is real. Chinese companies are not subject to the kind of regulation we have in the US and other countries. You run a huge risk not having your orders delivered at all. 2. You're dealing with companies who will very often foist cheap imitation junk products that often don't even look like their product pictures off on your customers, which results in returns and a bad rep for you. 3. You can't return products to most of these companies, because (a) they often won't accept them, and (b) if they do, it will often take weeks to get it done. 4. If you get cheated, you lose your money, period. There is NO legal recourse between the US and other countries, and China. 5. Having something drop shipped from China takes WEEKS. 3 to 6 weeks on average. Do you really think your customers are going to wait that long for you to deliver their product orders? Look, you can't make this stuff up. It's real. I can't even count how many people I've taught and mentored who have already been nailed to a wall dealing with these people, for the exact reasons I mention above. As a home-based business owner, China is not your answer to product supply. Not EVER. Yet again, the idiots who claim to teach you all this "amazing" eBay, Amazon and Website stuff will tell you to use AliExpress. Why would they do that when they know it doesn't work? Because it sounds EASY, and everybody wants EASY. We talked about that earlier. Another part of this lunacy is called Oberlo. Oberlo is the creation of the geniuses (please not the sarcasm) in the Marketing Department at Shopify. Oblero is simply a way to connect your Shopify Website to AliExpress and populate that site automatically with products drop shipped from China, in a way that hides the fact that you're actually working with AliExpress. I checked a Thesaurus to see how many different ways there are to say "stupid". Here are the results most pertinent to what Shopify is trying to foist on you with Oberlo: Dull, dumb, foolish, futile, ill-advised, laughable, ludicrous, naive, senseless, shortsighted, simple, rash, thick, unintelligent, brainless, dense, dim, doltish, dopey, half-baked, half-witted, idiotic, imbecilic, insensate, mindless, moronic, nonsensical, out to lunch, pointless, simpleminded, slow, stupefied, thick-headed, unthinking, and witless. Keep in mind I'm not referring to YOU if you're already using that monstrosity. I'm referring to Shopify's utterly un-caring marketing people. Oberlo is just one of the tons of unnecssary and ridiculous "apps" that Shopify tries to sell you along with their ECommerce Website packages. The sad thing is that the Shopify Website Platform itself is actually really GOOD. It's just all the other junk (like Oberlo) they try to sell you that is so well described by all those words above. Shopify's marketing team, like all the other EBiz hacks out there, want you to think everything is easy so that you keep paying for their Website platform for years while you try to figure out why nothing is working, when in fact it's not working because instead of actually learning this business properly, you bought into their ridiculous "easy apps". Using AliExpress or Oberlo is all of those words I mentioned earlier. I'm not going o repeat them because it makes me a little dizzy. Just don't fall for it, please. For lots more honest info about ECommerce, based on my over 25 YEARS of experience in this business, check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch you next time.
4 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
Retail Arbitrage - Good or Bad? | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
If you think it's a good idea to waste all your time, gas, and energy running around to retail stores all week long looking for individual bargain products that you then have to package and ship to Amazon to hopefully get resold on FBA for an artificially jacked-up price (cheating your own customers) before Amazon figures you out and suspends your account, please raise your hand. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the only thing that gets in the way of the truth is a bad set of speakers. Let's talk about this little gem that the bad guys like to call "Retail Arbitrage". If you think it's a good idea to waste all your time, gas, and energy running around to retail stores all week long looking for individual bargain products that you then have to package and ship to Amazon to hopefully get resold on FBA for an artificially jacked-up price (cheating your own customers) before Amazon figures you out and suspends your account, please raise your hand. If you raised your hand, please start this podcast over again and listen more carefully. I'm betting that you didn't raise your hand, though. When you hear it in plain english like that, the ridiculousness is unavoidable. I KNOW there are a lot of people who TELL you that this is a good idea. The absolute morons who tell you that either don't know the first thing about the retail business, or are lying to you with a big, fake grin on their faces. Personally, I believe it's the second choice, but it is true that there is no lack of morons in the internet "guru" space. So it could be either one. No matter which one it is, don't let them suck you in. "Retail Arbitrage" is a phrase that was simply invented by an unscrupulous online marketer several years ago to make it sound like it's a thing. It isn't a thing. It's a lie. Look, the word "Arbitrage" is a term that's used in the financial world, and generally refers to people who buy and sell on the world securities, currency and commodity markets. Here's the actual dictionary definition of Arbitrage: The simultaneous buying and selling of securities, currency, or commodities in different markets or in derivative forms in order to take advantage of differing prices for the same asset. Notice there's nothing there about "retail". Yes, the word "commodities" could be loosely interpreted to mean physical retail products, but only by someone who doesn't understand commodities. Gold is a commodity. Grain, precious metals, electricity, oil, beef, and natural gas are all commodities. An Easy Bake Oven that you have to chase all over town to find on sale and then overcharge for on Amazon is NOT a commodity. By definition, "Retail Arbitrage" doesn't exist. It's a fake con-artist buzzword, it's a waste of your time, money and energy, and it has a "glass ceiling". That means that you only have so much time in a given year to schlep around retail stores pointing your iPhone app at stuff on sale, and when you use up that time, that's all the money you're ever going to make at this. Glass ceiling. Any by the way, don't let any of this blithering ninnies tell you that it works better if you buy liquidation lots either. Here's another definition for you...most products that are "liquidated, and "liquidated" because nobody else could sell them! Just don't do it. You'll be way better off. For much more amazingly truthful and insightful information about ECommerce, check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time.
4 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Outsourcing For Your EBiz | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
Outsourcing is the favorite buzzword of all the online scammers under all the slimiest rocks on earth. Why? Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the truth about ECommerce WILL set you free. Outsourcing is the favorite buzzword of all the online scammers under all the slimiest rocks on earth. Why? Because everybody thinks everything should be EASY in ECommerce. After all, that's what all those "ECommerce Experts" say, right? They WANT you to think this is easy. It gives them the perfect excuse to get you all excited about making a million dollars by next week, and then they can sell you pure garbage info instead of going to all the trouble of teaching you what you REALLY need to know. Writing your own articles, blog posts and social media material? You don't have to do that...outsource it to India or the Philippines for a buck an Article! Building your own Graphics for your site and marketing? You don't have to do that...just get it done on Fiver or 99 Designs for a few bucks a pop! WRONG. This business is RETAIL MARKETING. A critical part of Retail Marketing is building a BRAND for your Website. That means that everything your marketing says has to be said with a CONSISTENT VOICE. It means that every graphic on your site and in all of your marketing has to be shown in a CONSISTENT STYLE. When you own a Website, which is by far the best method and most profitable method of online sales, your customers are going to find you in a variety of different ways. They're not just going to do a search in Google every time. They might hit your Facebook Business page first, then go from there to your Blog, then from there to your site, for example. There are lots of different points where a customer might contact your brand. If those points of contact don't all look, sound and feel the same, your site's brand WILL NOT work. If your brand doesn't work, your site doesn't make sales. So 'outsourcing' is out of the question, because every time you outsource something, you're going to be dealing with a different writer or graphic artist. Unless you want to pay them to be exclusive, but that costs a fortune. Here's what happens when you deal with different individuals on these outsourcing sites all the time: When you outsource to different graphic artists over time, you'll be dealing with abstract artists, impressionists, classical artists, cartoonists and so on. The graphics across your site and marketing with be a horrifying kaleidoscope of mis-matched imagery. If you close ONE sale, you'll be lucky. When you outsource to cheap writers, they simply search your Subject in Google, take someone else's article, and run it through Article Spinner software. That software spits out several different versions of the original article simply by shifting words around, and then they'll send you the one that reads the least horribly. The conversation is fractured, there's NO SEO value and it simply won't make sense to your readers. That's not marketing. In fact it's the complete OPPOSITE Of marketing. If you're going to own a business, you need to OWN your business. That means you need to learn it, understand it, and know how to run it. If you don't, you won't make money at it. Don't fall into the "outsourcing makes it easy" trap. It's just part of a cheap con, nothing more. Turn around and RUN away from any online marketer who tells you to outsource; it's a sure sign that they couldn't care less about what happens to you or your business. They just want to get into your wallet by making you think everything's EASY, nothing more. Writing your marketing content and working with graphics is NOT hard to learn, and you NEED to learn it. So learn something. Check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time.
5 minutes | Mar 28, 2021
BEWARE EBiz Coaching! | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
If you've been approached by somebody who wants to charge you a butt-ton of money to put you through ECommerce Training or Coaching, close your eyes immediately. Looking too closely at that 99% of those particular Gorgons will turn you to stone, just like in Greek mythology. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the truth isn't optional; it's a daily requirement. If you've been approached by somebody who wants to charge you a butt-ton of money to put you through ECommerce Training or Coaching, close your eyes immediately. Looking too closely at that 99% of those particular Gorgons will turn you to stone, just like in Greek mythology. Then run the other way, preferably with your eyes still closed. You can't be too careful; you might catch a reflection in a mirror on your way out of the room. You can tell who the bad guys are by the words they use, the questions they ask and the promises they make. Here's a list of the seven worst red flags in ecommerce marketing. 1. If buzzwords like Easy, Wealthy, Amazing, Secret, etc., etc. are part of their name or presentation, run away. Those marketing buzzwords are purposely used to fool you, and anybody who's willing to fool you isn't your friend. 2. If they attempt to ask you anything (and I mean ANYTHING) about how much money you earn or savings you have available, or ANYTHING about your credit rating and credit cards, run away. That's called "Pre-qualification". They're trying to figure out how much money they can squeeze from you. The very small handful of reputable people in this business do NOT pre-qualify. 3. If they tell you it's okay to spend lots of money on their stuff because you'll earn it back quickly, run away. That is a LIE. 4. If they show you images of bank statements of people who have supposedly made money with them, run away. That's a sure sign of hack marketing tactics. Photoshop can simulate the appearance money, but it can't actually print money. 5. If they show you Testimonials from people who talk about having made specific amounts of money or claim to have made money quickly, run away. That's a Marketing Gimmick and a LIE. 6. If they show you Websites that are supposedly owned by people who have made lots of money with them, run away. They're fake. People who actually make money with their Websites NEVER want potential competitors to see them, because they can be copied. 7. If they tell you they're going to connect you with their "Manager" to talk further, run away. That's sales code for "Now we know you have money, we're going to bring in the Closer and take it from you". It's very important to understand that whenever you have these phone conversations with these people, you're talking to a sales floor. That same salesperson you're talking to will be selling ECommerce junk in the morning, Make Money In Real Estate junk in the afternoon, and Make Money In Forex Trading in the evening. They don't care. They'll sell whatever they're told to for as much as they can get. They'll even sell the exact same thing to one person for $2,500 dollars and to another for $25,000 dollars, depending on how much money they determined those people have during pre-qualification. SERIOUSLY. It doesn't matter to the salesperson or the "Coaching or Training" company; it's all junk that costs them nothing anyway. You really should write those 7 points down and stick them to your fridge or something. Real EBiz mentors and trainers are extremely rare, and every time you talk to somebody who claims to be, there's a 98% chance that they are NOT. If you want the TRUTH about EBiz, check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. I've been making money in this business for over 25 years. Only a VERY small number of people can say that. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time.
5 minutes | Mar 26, 2021
Free Trial Websites | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
The idea of a Free Trial Website is purposely misleading, and here's why. When you start a REAL online business using a Website, the Website is actually the LAST thing you do, NOT the first. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where you CAN buy EBiz Scammer Pinatas in the gift shop if you like! The idea of a Free Trial Website is purposely misleading, and here's why. When you start a REAL online business using a Website, the Website is actually the LAST thing you do, NOT the first. There is a certain amount of learning that needs to be done before you jump into this business. Then there's a certain amount of Market Research, Keyword Research, Graphic Development, Site Pre-Design, Marketing Material Development, Demographic Research, Social Media Setup and SEO Development to be done FIRST. THEN you get the Website and start to put it together. If that sounds like it's just too much for you, you should not be considering an online business. If you're not willing to learn and work, you're never going to make any money in any business of any kind. If you are willing to learn and work, read on. Very 'reputable' companies will offer you Free Trial Websites. All the big ones you see on TV and online do this in one form or another. The problem with that is that they know there's a lot of other work to do first, but they don't care and won't tell you. As long as they can get you hooked with a Free Trial and then start marketing useless "apps, systems and tools" that make it all sound EASY to you, they're doing their happy-dance because they've successfully connected your wallet to their bank account on a monthly recurring basis, and they'll keep stringing you along for as long as they possibly can. That's disgusting. I once had a man attend my EBiz Insider Workshop who told me that he had started four Websites in a row that had each failed. I felt bad for him until we started talking about the details. Then I felt even worse for him. He told me he had let Shopify talk him into a 2 Week Free Trail Website. He started the Free Trial, slapped some random products from Oberlo on it (oh, boy), didn't make any money in 2 weeks, so he shut it down. Then he started another Shopify 2 Week Free Trial, slapped some random products from Oberlo on it, didn't make any money in 2 weeks, so he shut it down. Then he started another Shopify 2 Week Free Trial, slapped some random products from Oberlo on it, didn't make any money in 2 weeks...well, I'm sure you know where this story is going at this point. He said he did that four times in 2 months. I think I was probably speechless for almost a full minute, which, as you can tell, is rare for me. But you know what? This WASN'T HIS FAULT. This is the level of absolute insanity that these sick, greedy con artists tell people to in order to cheat them out of money. He was TOLD to do that by some skeechy online marketing hack who charged him thousands of dollars for THAT kind of advice!! You're never going to make any real money online in 2 weeks. Or in 2 months, for that matter. Not money that counts. This take patience, effort and time. The people who most often become the worst victims of all these misleading cons are people who are in a hurry to make money. An online business, or any other kind of business, is not a quick solution to a short-term financial shortage. It's going to take time, patience, effort and SOME money. Please remember that. There are a FEW (not MANY, but a FEW) highly experienced business owners out here who actually care more about being honest than we do about making money. If you want to see that strange concept in action, check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch you next time.
5 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
Automatic Product Feeds: Good or Bad? | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
There are serious problems with automated product feeds that nobody seems to want to tell you. So I'll tell you, because I don't want you to have serious problems with your online business! Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT When you have a web site that sells products online, sometimes you come across Automated Product Feeds from drop shippers and other wholesalers. This means that your supplier automatically loads your web site with products, descriptions, prices, quantity available and so forth. These automated product feeds are updated on a regular basis so that you don’t have to manually add products, manage prices and descriptions, etc. For people who are new to online business, this looks like the Holy Grail of ease in product management. BUT, there are serious problems with automated product feeds that nobody seems to want to tell you. So I'll tell you, because I don't want you to have serious problems with your online business! THE FIRST PROBLEM is that people tend to take the ENTIRE product feed and put it on their web site. That often means hundreds or even thousands of products on a singe site. It also means products on that site will be unrelated to each other. For example, a drop shipping / wholesale product feed might carry everything from sporting goods to jewelry to clocks to baby buggies. That’s really bad. Why? Because a web site that has more than one specific product line on it is next to impossible to get ranked in Google (the most important search engine) or any other search engine. These days, search engines look for web sites that tell one story about one thing. If you’re going to sell baby buggies, you need to sell ONLY baby buggies on your site. If you’re going to sell sporting goods, pick ONE type of sporting goods product (baseball bats, for example) and sell only that. If you mix products that a search engine sees as unrelated to each other, you have far too wide a mix of keywords for a search engine to rank you well for any ONE set of keywords, and nobody will ever find your site. If nobody finds your site, no sales. THE SECOND PROBLEM is that automated product feeds give you the descriptions of the products along with all the other info they put on your site. That seems like a good thing, but for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) it’s actually a bad thing. Manufacturer and wholesalers’ descriptions of products are almost always short and factual. For good SEO, and for good sales conversion, your product descriptions need to be personalized. They need to be very descriptive, contain the right SEO Keywords for that product and page, and give people a warm fuzzy that matches the overall look and personality of your site. When you simply take the descriptions directly from the automated product feeds and don’t re-write them to do all those things, you lose a very important part of your SEO, and a very important part of your sales conversion (turning visitors into buyers). So let's say you use an automated product feed, and you DO re-write your descriptions to be both more SEO friendly and conversion friendly. In a few days, that product feed is going to UPDATE, and it's going to RESET all your product descriptions back to the original text. In other words, it'll wipe out all your changes and you'll have to do it all again. And then AGAIN in a few more days when the feed updates again...well, you get the picture. For these reasons, there's simply no good reason to use automated product feeds of ANY KIND. Not for a small business. The big-box stores use them all the time, because the big-box stores do NOT need to personalize their product descriptions and rely on SEO. They rely on the power of their real-world BRANDS to bring in traffic. As a small business owner, you can't spend millions on real-world advertising, so you need every advantage you can get in the search engines. That means that your product descriptions become a huge part of your marketing, and automated product feeds will kill your SEO all day long. Most of the time, the things that SEEM the easiest in this business turn out to be the worst things you can do. Automated product feeds are a prime example. Learn LOTS more about ECommerce! Check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com.
9 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
Free Shipping – Should You Offer It? | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
"Free Shipping" doesn't exist. There's no such thing. It's a myth. Somebody ALWAYS pays for shipping. In the 25+ years I've been making money online (and in my 43+ years in business overall) I have never come across a shipping company that ships for free. Have you? Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT "Free Shipping" doesn't exist. There's no such thing. It's a myth. Somebody ALWAYS pays for shipping. In the 25+ years I've been making money online (and in my 43+ years in business overall) I have never come across a shipping company that ships for free. Have you? In one of my EBiz Insider Workshops last year, I had a person who had been a UPS Driver for 17 years. I asked him if he ever worked for free. He said no. I was not surprised. Covering the shipping cost of a product to an online customer happens in one of three ways: 1. The seller pays for the shipping, which comes out of their profit margin. 2. The buyer pays for the shipping, which gets charged to them during the purchase. 3. The seller pays for the shipping by HIDING the shipping cost in a higher product price, which still means that they buyer pays for the shipping. Then of course sometimes, there's a combination where the seller hides SOME of the shipping in a higher product price, and charges the buyer a lower 'flat rate' shipping price. Any way you ship it, there is NO such thing as actual Free Shipping. You know that, I know that...hey, even our dog probably know that. She's pretty smart. Free Shipping has a cost. Always. Small business owners cannot afford to cover any of that cost out of their profit margins (which is the only way to offer Free Shipping). Fake Gurus who tell you that as a small business owner you must offer Free Shipping are simply trying to feed you a plate full of ship, so to speak, and are expecting you to pay them for the meal. Like so many other things in sales, Free Shipping is a gimmick. Sales gimmicks are the last resorts of people who don't know how to actually market products. Let me repeat that LOUDLY for those in the back row who are playing games on their smart phones and not paying attention: SALES GIMMICKS (like Free Shipping) ARE THE LAST RESORTS OF PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO ACTUALLY MARKET PRODUCTS. Fake Gurus do not know how to actually market products. They only know how to feed you plates full of ship, and (ironically) charge you for delivering them. Small business owners who do know how to market products charge shipping to their customers all day long, and their customers pay it without a problem. So let's talk about some of the things involved in actually marketing a product properly. 1. Choose a product market that's profitable and has room for competition. Market Research (when done correctly) is the process of finding products that (a) sell well, (b) are not overly competitive, and (c) fall within certain price ranges that make a product worth selling. The Fake Gurus will tell you to 'sell something you like', or 'test products to see what sells'. That's why they're called Fake Gurus; both of those ideas are ridiculous. This isn't about selling what you like. It's about researching what sells well and has room for competition, and then learning to love that product. A good retail salesperson is a die-hard evangelist for the product they sell. If they're not, their lack of enthusiasm in their Social Media efforts will rat them out in a heartbeat and kill their sales before they begin. 2. Understand how people search for the product. A good marketer knows that Keyword Research is, well, KEY to marketing a product. Researching every possible word or phrase, whether closely or distantly related to the product line, and then using those words and phrases properly in marketing makes all the difference. Marketurds and Midiots won't even mention Keyword Research to you most of the time, and it's absolutely critical to do it, and do it right. 3. Develop a deep understanding of WHO BUYS the product. You CANNOT sell the same product to all age and gender demographics at the same time. No professional marketer ever even tries to do that. Not even the big kids at the multi-million dollar Ad Agencies on Madison Avenue. Every product line has a 'sweet spot' where the highest concentration of customers for that product exist, and it's a marketer's job to find that sweet spot and understand it. When you figure out who the customer is that buys the most of your product most of the time, you've found the money in the product line. Demographic Research then tells you things like how to talk to them, what color palettes work for them, whether they prefer to see a lot of text and less imagery, or lots of imagery and less text on sales pages, what style of graphics and typography we should be using, and many, many more critically important things. When you understand the Demographic, you know how to present them with an extended marketing message that strikes an irresistible chord with them, and if that's done right they'll buy from you immediately even if they have to walk to the Moon and pick up the product themselves. But again, Fake Gurus know nothing of these processes. These are real world marketing tools, and the Fake Gurus aren't interested in the real world except as it applies to emptying your wallet. 4. Sell in the right places. If you were going to build a lemonade stand on the sidewalk and sell cups of lemonade to passers-by, like kids do in the summertime, would you rather build that lemonade stand in from of The Dollar Store, or in front of Macy's? People walking into The Dollar Store are bargain hunting. They're trying to save money. You might get a nickel a cup for lemonade once in a while in front of The Dollar Store. However, you'll get a quarter a cup for lemonade all day long in front of Macy's. In the PHYSICAL retail world, LOCATION matters because the FOOT TRAFFIC matters. Higher end retail stores are built in physical locations that have a higher-income DEMOGRAPHIC per capita because that's where the money is. The same thing happens online. People who are shopping on eBay, Amazon, WalMart.com, etc., are bargain hunting. Those people will most often be price-comparing, because they have a need to save money. In those places, Free Shipping DOES have an impact, and so does price. When you sell in places where people shop with a bargain-hunting mentality, you have to lower your price to the point where your profit margins are so low you couldn't see under them with a microscope, and that's no way to run a business. You need to place your business where the money is; where people are searching for products based on the quality they want rather than the price they can afford. That is and always will be your own web site. People who shop the search engines for products are NOT going directly to eBay, Amazon and WalMart. They're searching for the PRODUCT, not the PRICE. The number of people who search Google and other search engines for products vastly outnumbers the people who bargain hunt directly at eBay, Amazon, etc. If you learn proper Market Research, Keyword Research, Demographics, and sell in the right place with a clear understanding of marketing, you'll make a lot of money and you won't need to even think about offering Free Shipping. The next time some Fake Guru tries to sell you a plate full of 'free ship', hand them a spoon and tell them to eat it themselves; you're not hungry. Want to learn how things really work? Check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. I'll teach you 'til you beg for mercy.
12 minutes | Mar 20, 2021
Paid Advertising – Do You Need It? | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
There’s a very good reason why the Fake Gurus tell you to use paid advertising, even though they know perfectly well that for home based business owners paid advertising is a huge flushing toilet the size of Niagara Falls, only instead of flushing water it flushes your cash down the drain. The Fake Gurus don’t care if that happens to you, and it will happen to you if you use paid advertising. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT We have a saying around here at “The People Who Know What We’re Doing Online” clubhouse, and it goes like this: “People who use paid advertising are people who don’t know how to MARKET”. This refers to home-based business owners, and if you use paid advertising now or have used it in the past, don’t take that personally. All it means is that you’ve gotten bad information from the fake 'ebiz gurus' that have told you to use paid advertising. That’s not your fault. There’s a very good reason why the Fake Gurus tell you to use paid advertising, even though they know perfectly well that for home based business owners paid advertising is a huge flushing toilet the size of Niagara Falls, only instead of flushing water it flushes your cash down the drain. The Fake Gurus don’t care if that happens to you, and it will happen to you if you use paid advertising. They need you to use paid advertising, though (which is why they tell you to do it), because the "systems, tools and wealth programs" they sell you are so uniformly horrible that they only way you’ll ever make a few sales using them is if you actually pay for advertising on TOP of using their horrible tools. This is really all about psychology. Again, the Fake Gurus know the "Magical Mystical Success Tools" they sell you are junk and won’t work. But they also know that if you use paid advertising, you will make a few sales (with a TOTALLY DIFFERENT marketing method…called paid advertising). If you start to make a few sales, then you don't realize that the "Magical Mystical Success Tools" are junk because hey, you made a few sales while you were using those tools (AND, don’t forget, paid advertising!). Psychologically they know that those FEW sales will make you feel that the junk tools DO work, but for some mysterious reason you’re not making enough sales. They'll blame that on you, telling you that you need to buy more of their tools. See, if you ever complain to the Fake Gurus about their horrible tools, they can say, “Well, since you made a few sales, our "Twenty Thousand Dollar Cornucopia Of Excellent Tools At Amazing Prices DID work, you’re just not using them right. So since you're such a dumb-ass, you need to buy our Supersized Marketing Incredo-Pac; that’s only another ten thousand dollars and the few sales you’ve made so far will multiply like rabbits on an island that only rabbits live on!” (Which, of course, they won’t. Rabbits never live on islands that only rabbits live on). See how that works? The few sales you’ll make with paid ads (which, by the way, will cost you more than you earn in profits!) will give you a false IMPRESSION (that’s a paid advertising joke…get it?) that the horrible tools work, then they tell you that you just need to buy more horrible tools to amp it up into more sales. As a home-based business owner with a limited budget and a pile of junk tools and information that frankly just suck, using paid advertising is like buying a new car, and then having to buy another new car to push the first new car with, because the first new car doesn’t run. Would you ever do that? Of course not. You wouldn’t buy the first car if it needed another car to push it because it doesn’t run. I know what you’re thinking (or at least I’m taking a reasonably educated guess). I’m guessing that you’re thinking “Hey, all those big box stores use paid advertising. Paid advertising is all over TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, bus stop benches AND the internet! So how can paid advertising be so bad??” (If you weren’t thinking that, you are NOW, right?!) Okay, let’s talk about the difference between big companies who have hundreds of millions of dollars to flood consumer markets with tons of advertising, and small home-based businesses that don’t have anywhere near that kind of money. There, we just talked about the difference. Small home-based businesses can’t afford to blanket half the known universe with paid advertising. It’s not cost-effective, at least not when you’re starting out. So how, then, is YOUR web site supposed to rise to the top of a search engine, or ever be found ANYWHERE in a search engine against all those big companies that have a gazillion dollars set aside just for lunch money? Well first, let’s dispel a myth here. Many people have been told that your web site ranking gets better and better when you pay the search engines more and more money for advertising. FALSE. Flat out, unequivocally, never-ever-happens FALSE. You CANNOT buy your way to the top of a search engine, period. So how do you get your web site to outrank all those big-box stores? Yes, it most certainly can be done. You just have to learn a thing or three. THE SEARCH ENGINES NOW RANK SITES BASED ON AUTHORITY In the covered-wagon days of the internet, you could have a web site that had tons of different pages on it, EACH of those pages selling completely different things. That was back when the search engines were much simpler. They only understood nouns. Being simple and basic as they were, they used to rank web pages on each page’s individual merit. In those days, if AllTheStuffYouNeed.com’s web site had the word “Squeegee” on their Squeegee sales page 24 times, and BobsCratesOfVariousStufs.com’s Squeegee page had the word “Squeegee” on it’s Squeegee sales page 36 times, BobsCratesOfVariousStufs.com WINS. YOU GO, Bob! Yes, of course, it wasn’t quite that simple. But that was a lot of how ranking worked back then. Now, (starting with Google’s big ‘Panda Update’ in 2011), search engines are much more sophisticated. They understand Nouns, Verbs, Pronouns, Adjectives and lots of other word-types that you probably forgot about ten minutes after you got out of school. I know I did. They also look at fussy little things like Grammar and Syntax. The most important part is that they now look at an entire web site as a whole, not just as a loose collection of individual pages. When a web site is a serious source of authority for one thing and one thing only, Google looks at that web site with unabashed adoration in it’s googly little eyes. It LOVES that web site. It writes that web site poetry, sends it flowers, and hopes it can take that site out to dinner and a movie on Friday night. Okay, I know I got a bit carried away…but I think I made the point. So the way Google operates NOW, a web site that is a focused source of authority on one subjct will ALWAYS naturally rank very well in the search engines. Big-box store web sites and sites like Amazon and eBay have horribly scattered authority. They have tens of thousands of product pages that are not related to one another as one subject, and cannot rank well in a search engine on their own. So what is a huge site or big-box store to do? Hmmm…how about paid advertising? Big-box stores NEED paid advertising. And I’m not just talking about paid advertising online. I mean paid advertising everywhere. Those big companies would come to your house and paint an ad on your cat if they thought they could get away with it. They need physical-world mass-media advertising because they need their scatter-shot web sites to already be know to consumers ahead of time, so that consumers go there directly when they shop online. SO THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF SUCCESSFUL SITES. 1. Sites that are big-box stores like Home Depot and Target, and bargain-hunting destinations like eBay and Amazon. They pay for advertising all over the place, online and in the physical world. They can’t rank well NATURALLY because their pages are so scattered among so many subjects that Google just can’t get an authority handle on them. But their paid advertising causes lots of people to go directly to those sites without ever using a search engine, and that’s what they need. 2. Sites that are small, home-based, very tightly niched sources of authority for one subject, and one subject only. When built and marketed properly, those sites can easily out-rank the big-box stores and mega-bargain stores all day long. SO WHY DON’T YOU SEE THOSE SMALL SITES AT THE TOP OF THE SEARCH ENGINES ALL THE TIME? If what I just told you is true, how come you see so many big-box stores (and Ama-bay) at the top of the search engine results so often? It’s simple, really. Very few people know how to create real authority with a search engine. When a search engine can’t find a site with real, focused authority in a given search, it defaults to other ranking factors like size of the site, how long it’s been out there, how many links, etc. Why don’t more people know how to do that? That’s simple, too. If more people knew how to actually market a site with authority to a search engine, they wouldn’t need Fake Guru's horrible tools and systems. And the Fake Gurus' horrible tools and systems are a MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY. That’s right, I said the B word. Most of those lousy fake marketers out there work together in some form or another, whether it’s passing your personal information around like a bowl of potato chips at a company picnic or getting together to build new garbage info-products like rusty sculptures at a junkyard art festival. They’re part of an extended fat-cat conglomerate of liars and thieves who work with each other to prevent you from finding out the truth. If everybody knew the TRUTH about online marketing, the bad guys would be out of business would and have to go back to living in their parents’ basements munching Cheetos and watching Seinfeld reruns all day. THE TRUTH IS that while paid advertising does have a place in business, that place is not in your home-based ECommerce start-up. That means Google Adwords, it means Facebook advertising, all of it. So when is paid advertising useful to a
9 minutes | Mar 20, 2021
The EBiz Gold Rush (Not!) | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
If you've decided to get in on this by starting your own home-based ECommerce business, the first thing you need to know is that you're going to be walking through a minefield in the dark. With a blindfold on. Hands tied behind your back, forced to hop on one foot. Be prepared! Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the truth will open your eyes wider than a Lasik surgeon can. There's a 21st century gold rush going on, and it isn't on the Discovery Channel. If you've decided to get in on this by starting your own home-based ECommerce business, the first thing you need to know is that you're going to be walking through a minefield in the dark. With a blindfold on. Hands tied behind your back, forced to hop on one foot. And dizzy. Does that sound like an exaggeration? IT ISN'T. When I first started in this business way back in 1993, things were whole lot simpler. Even though the 'consumer internet' was brand new and we were feeling our way along learning (and inventing) new things every day, at least nobody was trying to sabotage us on purpose. Today it's a whole different ball game. It seems like everybody with access to a keyboard, a bag of Cheetos, a YouTube account and a complete disregard for basic human decency claims to be an "EBiz Guru" of some kind. There are thousands of them. Yes, I said thousands, and I'm not exaggerating. 99% of these people couldn't muster enough brain cells in one place long enough to tie their own shoes, but oh, they're EXPERTS in ECommerce! Yeah. Ok. Apparently all it takes these days to be an 'expert' in ECommerce is a keyboard, a bag of Cheetos, a YouTube account and a complete disregard for...well, we've covered that ground. They claim to be experts, then they sell you absolute garbage 'apps', 'tools', 'systems', 'information', and 'coaching' for tens of thousands of dollars. It's not just the Grinning Ninnies who've blanketed YouTube with crapstorms of stupid, either. Many of these putzes are doing hotel seminars and national conventions. Speaking to crowds of hundreds of people who hang on every slippery word and scribble reams of notes as if they're going to magically pick up on that one hidden amazing secret that'll allow them to get out of there without spending any money [cue the hilarious laughter] and go home, start a business with no money, no learning and no experience, and get rich by next Tuesday. By 3:30 PM, so they have time to get ready for dinner. After all, we wouldn't want starting an online business to be inconvenient in any way. I hate to say this, but it's not just them. It's you as well! They're heartless, disgusting con artists, yes. But a con artist needs a willing "Mark". (The "Mark" is the target of the con, in case you're not up on con artist lingo). If the Mark isn't willing, the con doesn't work. So if YOU are the Mark, (which you absolutely are, the moment you sign up for that first 'free lesson' or 'free trial') YOU have to be willing to believe that it's possible to get rich by Tuesday (no later than 3:30 PM) with no money, no learning and no experience. And if you DO allow yourself to believe that even for just one minute, you might as well fry an egg, grab a slice of cheese and pop yourself in the toaster, because YOU are the Breakfast Bagel that these jack-wagons are going to chow down on every morning before they even get dressed. No matter how many of these swamp lizards paddle up to your door, the only way they can hurt you is if you believe that starting a real, live business that makes actual full-time money is EASY...or...can be bought from somebody else on easy credit terms. Starting, building and running a real money-making business online is NOT easy, and you CAN'T buy 'tools, systems and apps' that will do it FOR you. Not EVER. Let's face it, in life we want things to be easy. Easy is better than hard. However, life being life, that ain't gonna happen. But the knuckle-draggers who have been trained to think that cheating people is actually a smart business method KNOW that we want easy. So they serve it up to us like a three-scoop bowl of ice cream and give us a giant spoon. The only problem is that they charge thousands of dollars a scoop, and when the bowl is empty all you end up with is an empty bowl. Which you could have gotten for a dollar at the Dollar Store, if all you actually wanted really was a bowl. If you've read any history or maybe watched the History Channel once in a while you might remember learning about the great California Gold Rush of 1849 (which actually started in 1848, but hey, facts get fuzzy when people get greedy). During the years of that gold rush, the people who actually made much more money much more consistently were the people who were smart enough to go into the retail business, not the "Gimme a shovel, I'm gonna get rich by Tuesday" business. Hoteliers, store owners, butchers, restaurateurs, etc. were the real gold rush winners in 1849(8). There were actually very few miners who made "fortunes", and the vast majority of them were the few who actually knew how to mine gold. But those facts (which were known at the time) didn't stop the shipping and transportation companies 'back east' (and even in other countries) from screaming at the top of their lungs that you could pick gold up in the streets in California, and all you needed was a really expensive ticket on their ships and wagon trains. Huh...guess they made a lot of money too, right? This is no different. The thousands of needle-heads who know that you don't know how to mine gold charge you tens of thousands of dollars for a ticket on the Secret Train To The Gold Fields. They'll put you in a first-class seat so you can relax comfortably while you eat your ice cream. They'll give you all kinds of fancy-looking gimmicks to play with that flash and spin and have buttons that bleep when you click them. They'll tell you about all the magical ways you can summon your own personal Unicorns (which don't actually exist; sorry!) that will fly around scooping up people to buy from you. They'll promise you a Secret Code to the hidden Trans-Pacific Matter Transporters (that don't actually exist) that will make huge loads of incredible products from China appear in your garage for mere pennies on the dollar (which isn't actually true). They'll show you amazing-looking web sites that they claim make quadrillions of dollars per second (but actually don't). They'll show you heart-felt testimonials (that they wrote themselves, but don't ask that question!) from others (themselves) who are all giddy and tingly about their Amazing Systems (that don't actually work). They'll show you "Actual Bank Statements" (that they actually spent entire minutes of their lives creating by pecking away at Photoshop with their stubby little fingers) that PROVE that their "Amazing Systems" have made millions of dollars for themselves and other giddy and tingly people (only they actually didn't). THE ONLY THING THEY DON'T DO is actually teach you how to mine gold. The thing they never tell you (but should be easy enough to figure out) is that the Secret Train To The Gold Fields is powered by your money. That train doesn't run on a wood-burning boiler or diesel fuel. It runs on your CASH. Picture somebody at the front of the train tossing shovel-fulls of your hundred dollar bills into the flaming maw of an old-fashioned steam boiler fire-box, laughing maniacally. Not a pretty picture, is it. The minute your money is gone and there's nothing more to shovel into the fire-box, that train's emergency brakes automatically kick in. The Conductor stomps over to your seat, unceremoniously tosses you out the window into the desert, and the train screeches off down the line shoveling other people's money into the fire. So now you're sitting in the desert, broke, nowhere near the actual gold fields, and you have no idea what to do next. And you still don't know how to mine gold. So get off the train, come to Chris Malta.com and check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. I've been a REAL successful gold miner for over 25 years online. I'll show you where the gold REALLY is. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time.
7 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
Amazon: Should You Sell There? | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
Amazon is a great place for LARGE companies to sell products. Not so much for home-based business. Can you make SOME money on Amazon as a small business? Sure. You can also make SOME money collecting old soda cans. It's just not going to be a full time living. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the truth prevails, and the scammers fail. Let's talk about the whale in the goldfish bowl for a little while. Amazon is a great place for LARGE companies to sell products. Not so much for home-based business. Can you make SOME money on Amazon as a small business? Sure. You can also make SOME money collecting old soda cans. It's just not going to be a full time living. Most people are familiar with Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon). That's where you send wholesale products into an Amazon warehouse, and they basically take over the sale. They sell the product, handle the shipping, customer service, returns, etc. When something of yours sells, you get paid a (small) profit. Just like eBay, Amazon has it's fees (lots of them!), and as a small business owner who can't get those big bulk wholesale price breaks, those fees will hit you hard right where the sun don't shine. Like eBay, Amazon is price-driven marketplace. Most people who shop there are looking for bargains, and that's a bad place for a small business to be. The profit margins are too small. There are other issues too. Amazon can "gate" a product on you with no notice, and often does. What does that mean? Let's say you send 30 Sony DVD Players that you got in a liquidation lot (which is another bad idea, more on that in another podcast) to Amazon FBA so they can sell them for you. Then let's say that a little later on, Sony decides that they're tired of Amazon sellers selling their products at discount prices. Yes, that happens all the time. Big manufacturers have to maintain a certain price point for their products in the overall marketplace. Otherwise, the products become devalued (which means they're PERCIEVED to be worth less than they really are) and then the big-box physical stores refuse to sell them. Why? Because big-box stores have lots of overhead. Employees to pay, parking lots and buildings to maintain, mass media advertising to shovel out, etc. They have costs. If enough people see that Sony DVD Player selling online for $50 when a big-box store has to sell it for $75 to make a profit, the big-box store is going to stop selling it. That's bad for Sony, because the big-box stores are still their bread and butter. So the big-boxers go screaming to Sony that they can't compete anymore, and Sony goes screaming to Amazon (AND all of Sony's wholesalers as well) that the product can no longer be sold at a discount online. That's one reason (among many others) why Amazon "gates" a product. They tell you that you simply cannot sell it anymore. So then, you get to pay for Amazon to ship your unsold DVD Players back to you so that you can store them in your garage until the mice chew the wiring out of them and they become dumpster-food. The worst part is that gating can apply to entire brand names as well as entire categories of products. Gating is a fairly common complaint, and can cost you a lot of money if you have any kind of reasonable investment in the gated product, brand name or category. Another problem a lot of small Amazon sellers complain about is that Amazon will push them out of the "buy box" in favor of larger sellers. Amazon watches their sales metrics with an electron microscope. So let's say you send some product into Amazon that starts selling like crazy. When Amazon realizes this (about a nanosecond after it starts to happen) they go on the hunt for larger companies that can send lots more of those products into their warehouses at cheaper wholesale prices. If and when they find one (which they almost always will), you get spanked like a rented mule and sent into Time Out while the Biggie McBiggerson Wholesale Company gets Featured on Amazon for that product instead of you. Is it wrong of Amazon to do that? NO. It's their site, their platform, and they have every right to locate large suppliers of products that can fill their customers' needs better than your small business can. They also have every right to Feature whatever they darn well please. It's not much fun for you, but there's really nothing to be done about it. Then there are all the tools that people use to study their competition (you) on Amazon. Amazon sellers are constantly checking out and copying their competition, which makes it easy for people with a little more money to swoop in and out-compete you as soon as you hit on something that actually sells. Now, competition is a normal part of any marketplace, but it's just way too easy to get hammered like that on Amazon. Add to all of that the other problems and pitfalls (just too numerous to list here) that even people who push Amazon FBA and Amazon Stores admit to, and this is not a good idea for your home-base business. You'll spend most of your time trying to outfox your competition, dealing with tons of rules and regulations, and selling at profit margins that home-based businesses really can't survive on. When you try to work within a business framework like that, you're really not running your own business. You're being told what you can and can't do by a big company, you're getting shafted on your take-home pay, you're working far too hard for far too little money, and the ground shifts under you unpredictably every other day. Isn't that what you were trying to get away from when you started your own business?? Amazon is best left to the big wholesalers and manufacturers that it was designed to work with. And yet, there they are...the Evil Clowns who swear to you all day long that you're going to make a fortune selling on Amazon in just a few weeks if you'll only pay them $35,000 for their 'Amazing Amazon Coaching'. Puh-leeeze. If you REALLY want to learn this business from someone who's been successful in it for more than 25 YEARS and will NOT lie to you, check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time.
6 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
Importing From China: Good or Bad? | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
Apparently China has somehow become a place that defies the general rules of Economics. Products are made at Amazing Low Prices, sold at Amazing Low Prices, and you can get them to your garage, your basement or a Convenient Storage Unit Near You at Amazing Low Prices. (Sigh). Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where business owners learn to be business owners, and scammers are scared, as they ....darn well better be. Okay, here we go on another Magical Mystery Tour. Apparently China has somehow become a place that defies the general rules of Economics. Products are made at Amazing Low Prices, sold at Amazing Low Prices, and you can get them to your garage, your basement or a Convenient Storage Unit Near You at Amazing Low Prices. (Sigh). A while back, I sent one of my business partners and several of my employees TO China for two weeks. Guangzhou Province, to be specific, which is a port area where a LOT of manufacturing goes on. Their mission was to determine whether it would be reasonable for us to begin large scale (not small-scale home-based business level) importing from China. We were looking at several product lines, but I'll just use one product line and one specific product as an example. You know those camping chairs with the aluminum legs and canvas seats that you can fold up and slide into a nylon bag and take with you wherever you go? Those were selling for $12 to $14 per unit retail in the US at the time. If we bought them in bulk in China, we could get them for $3.12. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? But wait...there's more. To get them at that price, we would have to buy at least a container load of them. A "container" is a railroad car. That's a lot of chairs. Before we even bought anything at all, we would have to hire an Agent in China that we could trust (good luck) to look after our sourcing interests there. Then the order would have to be placed, and we would have to wait 2 to 3 months for the order to be manufactured. Manufacturers in China do not make all kinds of stuff ahead of time, store it in warehouses and then sell it. They don't lay out that kind of effort and capital expense ahead of time. It's made to order, and that takes time. Then our trusty Agent in China (good luck) would have to inspect the product, and then get it to a shipping port to be transported to the US. That's ocean shipping, as in big ships that travel over the ocean. You can't FedEx a railroad car. Then we'd have to consult the US Harmonized Tariff Schedule to determine how much we're going to pay in Import Taxes to bring our chairs into the US. Then we'd pay Customs Fees at our Port of Entry into the US, then hire a trucking company to transport our chairs to whatever warehouse we would be paying for in order to store all those camping chairs. Once we added up all those costs, it turned out that it would actually cost us more than $9.00 per unit to buy those chairs in China, get them to the US and store them so that we could (hopefully) sell them all. Now, I'm no theoretical mathematician, but to me it sounds like $9.00 is a whole lot more than $3.12. On top of that, it turned out that we could actually buy those chairs already imported into the US by other really big existing importers for about $7.00. So what would be the point? We'd be better off buying them in the US. All the (expensive) steps I described above that come after "this costs $3.12 in China" are the steps that Slippery Dan and the band conveniently LEAVE OUT of the information they sell you for thousands of dollars. Their #1 chart-topping hit only has one verse..."This costs $3.12 in China!" It's just not the whole lyric, not by a long shot. What you need to know is that there are already lots and lots of very large import companies in the US that have the money and the infrastructure to import billions of dollars in Chinese-made products into the US at VERY low prices (because they buy HUGE quantity) and then sell them to you at wholesale for less than it would cost you to deal with China directly on a small-business scale. So please, for the sake of your kids' college fund, DO NOT buy in to the fantasy that you're going to get tons of dirt-cheap products if you buy direct from China. The chuckleheads who tell you that are just trying to make you think business is EASY to they can upsell you on their 'Amazing Systems' and 'Foolproof Tools' In some cases, they're actually trying to get you to pay them thousands of dollars to TAKE YOU ON A TRIP to China with so you feel like you've accomplished something. They're going to pocket most of that money while they slow-boat you there and leave you in a seedy hotel witha couple of trips to a trade show. On a home-based business scale, buying from China successfully is just a flat-out lie. Want the TRUTH about ECommerce? Check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at ChrisMalta.com.
7 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
What Happened to eBay? | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
From the late 90's into the late 2000's, eBay was actually a decent place to make some money. It was just people selling stuff to people, and all was right with the world. Unfortunately, Meg Whitman left eBay in March of 2008. That's when eBay started to slide downhill. Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where you heard it here first, because you definitely won't hear it anyplace else! Let's talk about the question that more and more eBay Sellers are asking more and more every day: What happened to eBay? To do that we have to start with a little history lesson. From the late 90's into the late 2000's, eBay was actually a decent place to make some money. It was just people selling stuff to people, and all was right with the world. I was very involved with eBay back then. I was an eBay Developer Partner. I was a speaker at their national "eBay Live!" conventions. I spent years as a regular guest on eBay Radio. When eBay wanted info and content on Wholesaling, they called me. In about 2006, they asked me to write a book about how to find stuff to sell on eBay, and I did. It was published by McGraw-Hill and is still in bookstores today, although I would not recommend it now, because eBay has gone seriously downhill since about 2009. I firmly believe that the driving force behind all the things that were GOOD about eBay in those days was Meg Whitman, eBay's CEO back then. On her watch, the eBay Partner Program was created. eBay Educators were trained and certified to help potential sellers. Outreach programs for disadvantaged people who wanted to start a business were created. The eBay Radio Show began. The "eBay Live!" national convention was created. The 'eBay Bible" was written. I met Meg Whitman at the eBay convention in Las Vegas in 2006, when I was there as a speaker. Very smart person, and very interesting to talk to. Unfortunately, Ms. Whitman left eBay in March of 2008. That's when eBay started to slide downhill. eBay is a price-driven marketplace. It's like a flea market, actually. Everybody who shops there is looking for deal and bargains; they all look for the lowest price. That was okay when it was just people selling to other people back in the glory days. That marketplace tended to correct itself with respect to general pricing. After Meg Whitman left and the new management took over, it seems that the people running things got greedy. It started to look like everything was about earning more money for eBay in any way possible, even if it was at their Sellers' expense. The 'eBay Live!' conventions were shut down. The training and partner programs were shut down. eBay University was shut down. Regulations got more regulatory. Customer Service got less customer servicey. Fees went up, more and more each year. eBay stopped backing up their sellers as much as they used to during problem resolutions, and started siding with the buyers much more often. Sometime in about 2009 I was contacted by eBay and asked if I would work with one of their groups, to teach them how wholesale companies operated and how to properly communicate with them. I figured, "Great, eBay wants to learn more about how wholesale works!" That couldn't be a bad thing, right? So I did what they asked. Later on, I learned what they had really been interested in. They had started a project which, if I remember correctly (don't quote me on this) they internally called the 'Enterprise Project'. They basically opened a back-channel into eBay and began contacting wholesale and manufacturing companies, and invited them to come in and sell directly on eBay. Under assumed Seller names, so that nobody would know who they really were. In other words, eBay was no longer just people selling to people; it became more and more about wholesalers selling to people, but it seems that most people didn't know that. To the best of my knowledge, this practice still continues. The effect is that eBay has been flooded with wholesalers who can sell at much lower prices than individual eBay Sellers can. That's a terrible thing for eBay Sellers. In fact, more and more eBay Sellers are complaining that they can't find cheap enough wholesale sources of products to beat their competition on eBay and make a profit. Those Sellers blame their wholesalers for that. The reality is that eBay Sellers simply can't compete against other 'Sellers' that they don't realize ARE wholesale companies. As I said earlier, eBay has always been a price-driven marketplace. People looking for the lowest prices. Searching for what they want, then clicking the "Sort By Lowest Price" button. So of course eBay Sellers can't compete, because the wholesalers will always have the lowest price! It's important to understand that the worst place you can possibly put a home-based retail business is squarely in the path of the most bargain-hunting consumers. That's a given no matter where you're selling because home-based business owners need realprofit margins (at least 20%) to sustain a business, and 30 to 35% to grow that business. That doesn't happen often in ANY bargain-hunting, price driven marketplace. Add direct wholesalers into the mix, and you can forget it. At this point, in my experienced opinion, eBay is no longer a place where a home-based business owner can make any significant money. YET...there are HUNDREDS of "Make Money On eBay!" programs, books, tools and systems out there, many that sell for thousands of dollars, run by sniveling weasels who know they are lying to you. There are OTHER programs and systems that tell you that eBay should be a PART of your online business, along with Amazon and your own Website. Anybody who knows this business knows that's post-digestive dog food, because price-driven marketplaces like eBay and Amazon do NOT mesh with properly marketing-driven businesses like Websites. But the weasels lie to you and sell you that junk for college-tuition-level money anyway. Don't you believe them. For bargain hunters who SHOP on eBay, things have gotten BETTER. For the home-based business owner who tries to make a serious full time living SELLING on eBay, it's game over. For more home based business info you just won't learn anywhere else, check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at Chris Malta.com Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time.
6 minutes | Mar 14, 2021
Site Templates: Should You Use Them? | Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast
Anyway, here's a fun fact for you. If you want to build a product sales website, you cannot simply use an e-commerce website template straight out of the box, and ever expect to make any reasonable number of sales. And yet, guess what? There are tens of thousands of them out there. Why? Be sure to Subscribe to the Show! Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Chris malta's EBiz Insider podcast, where the information is so good that even the family pets will set up and listen! It’s true...our dogs sit here and stare at me all the time when I'm working. Or more they just need to go out. Anyway, here's a fun fact for you. If you want to build a product sales website, you cannot simply use an e-commerce website template straight out of the box, and ever expect to make any reasonable number of sales. And yet, guess what? There are tens of thousands of them out there. Why? Because EASY. I say this over and over again in my podcasts, my articles, my books, my workshops, my blogs, my ECommerce courses...I repeat it so often, because it's so important. Whenever anybody tells you that anything in business is EASY, they're lying to you. They just want to get into your wallet, and telling everybody that everything is easy is like having the master key to every wallet on the planet! So because EASY...every day more and more people get suckered into the idea that they can take a pre-designed website template full of random pretty pictures, slap some products on it, and start selling like there's no tomorrow. No, no, NO. This business is retail marketing. When retail marketing is done online, some of it is based in technology, yes. Hence websites. But about 90% of retail marketing, both offline and online, is based in Psychology. That's what marketing is. Psychology. If you don't understand the psychology of retail marketing, you need to find someone legit who's willing to teach you. That's not easy, because there's only a very small handful of people in this business who are legit. Like me, for example. This is important, because this stuff really is make-or-break, seriously. Here’s just one of the many things you need to understand about retail Marketing in relation to psychology. We'll focus on this one because it relates to website templates. Demographics. I’ll bet you've never heard that word from online con artists like Richard Cranium and his amazing Circus of Online Easy, have you?. People like that don't even know this stuff. And if even if they did they wouldn't teach you, because when you know what you're doing, you don't need their silly little over-priced “apps, tools and amazing systems”. So anyway, demographics. It's not enough to just put products out there on a website with random pretty pictures, not by a long shot. What you really need to know is who is buying those products. Why? Two reasons. 1. You cannot sell the same product to all age and gender groups successfully at the same time. No professional marketer ever tries to do that. 2. Different age and gender groups respond to different styles marketing. So in order to be successful, you need to know the age and gender demographic of the people who buy the most of your product. Then you need to know what style of marketing that particular demographic responds to. And then, you need to modify the style, Graphics, typography, messaging, and social phraseology that you use to attract and communicate with your potential customers. Look, I know that sounds all fancy and stuff. It really isn't. Owning a business isn't EASY, but this stuff isn't rocket science either. It's just learning the details, like anything else in life. But it does illustrate the fact that you will never find a pre-designed e-commerce website template that is already built exactly right for the combination of the products you sell and the expectations of the demographic who buys them the most. Fancy, pretty website templates are created by graphic designers. Graphic designers are not Retail Marketers. They're GRAPHIC DESIGNERS. Don't get me wrong here. It's good to use a website template. There's so much coding in them that you don't want to build the site completely from scratch yourself. However, any website template you ever use for an e-commerce store will have to be modified visually and structurally to be an experience that your consumer demographic will respond to and buy from. This means people like the bubbleheads on all the TV and YouTube commercials who bounce up and down and say things like “I just built a professional website in ten minutes with Stix!” are not going to be helpful to you. Not EVER. So remember, templates in general are good, but putting them online straight out of the box is BAD. If you want to learn a lot more about how this business REALLY works, check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at Chris Malta.com
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