Blog: January 2011

Fun with Figures

Few of us would call calculators fun – although I do recall enjoying a few upside-down calculator messages back in middle school – but the folks here at eBlox got a kick out of building calculators for two big site launches for 2011. Then again, we are geeks.

First up is the product page calculator on the new 3M Promotional Markets website. 3M has always had pretty complex pricing and decoration options, so we actually took on the rather ambitious task of not only wrestling their pricing into a more structured model, but also building the ability to calculate that pricing accurately and quickly right on the product page.

3M Promotional Markets Product Page Calculator

3M's calculator handles product options and freight in real time

If that wasn’t enough, 3M threw in freight quoting as well – in real-time. So, we take product and quantity options, work out the total (including decoration) and then go fetch a real-time freight quote from UPS, all right there on the product page. You get an estimated total within seconds.All of this is made possible with storeBlox 2, the most flexible, customizable e-commerce solution for promotional products suppliers and distributors.

Specialization and Cross-Selling

If you’ve been in business for a few years, you’re probably good at something. Hopefully, it’s something that your customers recognize – perhaps you’re an expert at embroidery, or a specialist at creating innovative promotional packages. Maybe you excel at quick turnaround, or you really know workwear in a particular industry.

What is it you’re good at? It’s an important question, because as the landscape of selling online becomes more and more competitive, the generic message “we sell promotional products” is less useful by the day. Terms like “promotional products” or “logo apparel” are so heavily marketed that competing for search for these terms against the big players in the industry is nearly impossible.

What’s a small or medium-sized business owner to do? As I’ve suggested in numerous other columns, the first place to start is with a geographical focus. In your online advertising and marketing, as well as in the copy on your website itself, you can adopt a regional strategy and make sure you target shoppers searching and buying in your area. As always, keyword research will help you determine popular search terms and search volume in your geographical area.

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