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A strange thing is happening to the online dog show suppliers, Cherrybrook: this niche e-retailer is showing strong signs of dominating their market online.
In the past three months, they have jumped ranking position by over 50,000 places according to website statistics specialist, Alexa. In the past three months, Alexa reports that, on average, visitors are staying on the site longer, and reading more webpages. One of the delights of online shopping is the sense of exploration and discovery that site visitors experience. As we have seen with Shoes of Prey and Warby Parker, don’t create a busy, stress-inducing home page that overpowers the shopping experience. At every turn, the Cherrybrook website remains focused on this market, they have obviously mapped out what products and information their customers need. Research your niche and make sure that this market is your sole niche for your online store. Create additional eCommerce ventures if you are straying into other niches, keep laser focused on each market so you are not confusing site visitors or diluting your sales message.
The Cherrybrook owners have attended over 200 dog shows, and are regular fixtures at dog show events, operating a mobile trading booth. Sometimes, online shopping can only take you so far: some lifetime loyal customers will only come on board if they can first buy from you in person, or speak with your business directly (even over the phone).
Provide several ways for shoppers to navigate through your site, and look for site search engine tools that can help you provide a high quality user experience to your shoppers. Review search analytics data regularly to get a better feel for what products your visitors most look for – is there anything you are not offering, or that you could extend the range of, to cater to the higher demand? One of the reasons for the success of Cherrybrook’s Google ranking position for many product items in the pet dog niche is no doubt due to the way they have structured their product catalog to include the full branded name of each product in the catalog title description.
If using product catalog software, make sure you are able to include full branded product names in your catalog database. Make sure your SEO strategy includes ranking for each individual product item you sell, including the full make and model number, if applicable. Be strategic with your supplier relationships, and seek to build long-term partnerships in your niche.
Start by looking for one major supplier and for one non-profit that is well-patronized amongst your target market. Always respect the brands you are building reputations with by using the full brand name and product descriptions in any website usage, and be sure to follow style guidelines regarding their use of logos, etc. For a niche retail market, you can use a readymade eCommerce platform or if you have a good developer you can call on, you may decide to go your own route.
Find a balance between a string aesthetic design and offering powerful search tools that help visitors easily navigate your site to the product they want. If you are planning on being data-driven or want to provide a contextual and personalized interface for returning visitors, you may need some developer skills on board to help you access application programming interface (API) tools. Always be measuring and monitoring your site load times in order to ensure visitors are not bored waiting. Cherrybrook uses a technique we have seen previously with best eCommerce website BaubleBar. Make sure you have a way to capture first time visitors to your website with a popup or other technique to request email addresses. Do not rely solely on your website for selling: many successful eCommerce businesses sell the bulk of their product via email newsletters. Set up a workflow that aims to personalize newsletter offerings so they are more relevant to each visiting customer. In addition to the product names mentioned above (in point 6), Cherrybrook makes sure each product page and category is also optimized for key search terms. While branded product names can help connect with shoppers ready to buy, there are also a lot of shoppers in an earlier stage of search, who dont quite know what they are looking for. Make sure you are optimized for both types of shoppers: those searching by product name and those searching more generally. Seek to become an expert in providing this reference for your niche, and optimize and maintain this content with the same dedication you do to high performing sales pages. Make sure you are always expressing the security you can provide to shoppers for online payments. Be clear about posting and handling fees, and where possible, absorb these into your business model rather than passing costs onto customers. Share details of how your products are manufactured, and the quality rigor they must pass before being sold.
Wherever possible, provide a phone number and online chat option to show you are contactable at all times. Cherrybrook are an outstanding example of a niche online retailer who has been able to corner their market in the US. About Mark Boyd (15 Posts)Mark Boyd is a freelance writer based in Barcelona, focusing on the ways we use technology to connect and interact.
Continuing from ‘Conversion’, a short and smooth checkout process is crucial for maximizing orders. We need a fast checkout process that is seamless with as few as steps as possible and little or no resistance. Display help notifications on small pop-ups—visible when a would-be customer makes the cursor hover over an ‘info link’—where required, assisting your shoppers so the whole checkout process is seamless and self-explanatory. In summary: During the checkout process do not give prospects too many options and definitely do NOT give them a checkout degree course!
Using a breadcrumb trail in your checkout process is important as it shows your prospects exactly where they are in the checkout process and how many steps are left to order completion. Display clear yet subtle security and credit card logos, and maybe a small padlock or security image in the checkout process. Note: You should NOT make the whole website secure, as it will slow the load speed down massively and is unnecessary. If you have a Coupon or Discount Voucher Code box in your checkout area, and you are not currently running discount promotions, then disable it.
So (see section 14 ‘Marketing Elements’) get your web developer to add the facility to disable this box from the back-end admin, as and when required. Another potential problem is if you ask people to ‘sign up’ or ‘create account’ in your checkout area:  this can greatly increase cart abandonment rates. Many website checkout areas and processes are too complex, time consuming and have up to seven different pages. The color, shape and wording used on buttons can play a huge part in conversion rates.  Imagine a big square-edged button, saying ‘BUY NOW’ in a bright red color. In 2005 my team and I spent a lot of time analyzing the checkout process on my websites, monitoring the cart-abandonment rates and testing various checkout set-ups, using split testing and multivariate testing. Note: The text at the side of password in brackets disguises a ‘sign up to account’ process. Each step on the checkout page is accompanied by a small ‘Info’ link, which gives you a small pop up with information assistance when you hover over it. Note: For reference, I detailed the ‘Create Password’ text above as people get suspicious about creating accounts and passwords as discussed earlier. Once an order has been placed on your website, your customer will be presented with the ‘Order Confirmation Page’ (also known as Order Success Page).This mainly says ‘Thanks for your order!’ However, this page can be greatly improved and utilized for much more. Note: If you have ordered several items, we may send them to you in separate packages to give you the fastest service.
Note: Please await receipt of our Order Dispatch email prior to arranging an installation or booking time off work.


Subscribe now to the In Car iPod RSS feed in 1 easy click and get news, product reviews, special offers and updates. You can view your order history by going to ‘My Account’ page and by clicking on ‘History’. Return on investment is everything for small and medium sized businesses looking to buy pay-per-click advertising on a budget.
With many different features and settings to navigate through, running a successful PPC campaign is easier said than done.
When starting a PPC campaign for the first time, focus on just one or two of your best products or services.
Ideally, one of your business offerings is both popular with customers and offers a high-profit margin.
Be sure to stay away from promoting everything your business sells- if it’s a wide range of offerings, your budget may be stretched too thin to gain traction.
One of the many important aspects in determining the success of a pay-per-click advertising campaign is Quality Score.
One way to achieve strong Quality Scores is by effectively structuring the campaigns, ad groups, and keywords within your account. Within Google AdWords, there are several different campaign types but there are three main mediums for showing paid ads that most advertisers should care about. One of the most common errors made by new advertisers on AdWords is targeting more than one network at a time. On a campaign by campaign basis, advertisers can geotarget ads to certain specific regions. In the campaign settings, advertisers can easily target searchers geographically by country, state, county, DMA, city, and even zip code. By default, new campaigns will target both the entire United States and Canada so make sure to check and adjust targeting before activating any campaigns. Found in the Settings > Devices tab within your campaign, you can adjust bids for impressions on mobile devices. If users from smartphones are not converting into customers, negatively adjusting your mobile bid can save money for searches occurring on other devices like desktops or tablets.
When building out your keyword list in your tightly-themed ad groups, utilize phrase and exact match to start.
Going this route will limit the number of impressions and clicks your ads will be eligible for, but it will also help increase your clickthrough rate. By starting with what should be the most relevant search queries triggering your ads, conversion rates and return on investment will see benefits.
Description Line 2 (35 character limit) – What is the desired action for the searcher once they click? Following this outline will help create concise and effective text ads that help promote your product or service.
One of the great benefits of PPC is the ability to accurately track individual clicks to conversions and sales.
Now that you have conversion tracking in place, you can use that data to drive your advertising decisions. One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced advertisers make is creating their campaigns, setting them live, and then checking back in on them a month later or never again.
If you don’t have time to monitor your campaigns, check out our PPC packages for companies on a budget.
An article full of bite-sized tips always goes well because readers always find something to take home.
And if you get a bunch of contributors on board to submit those tips (and help promote that article once it goes live), this is almost sure to result in a big traffic boost as compared to your regular editorial. If you plan your editorial calendar far in advance, you may want to make those tweetable tips about big holidays or industry events to get even more people on board. Remember that you are looking for short actionable and varied answers: Formulate your question accordingly while keeping your audience in mind.
Contacting all the participating experts in bulk with a status update, a request, invite to share, etc. I personally often get invited to those expert roundups but I pass on most of them (for the lack of time) unless I know the person who emails me. I am not a fan of being contacted with these requests on Twitter too because I wouldn’t be able to plan my day well if I had to answer those questions right away.
I suggest making a note that you’ll be able to only use unique answers in the article to prompt them to come up with more original answers (and also avoid any hurt feelings in case you fail to use any answer). If you turn those tips in images, you can get people share by clicking the image using this handy tool.
You can play with visual quotes more by packing them into a SlideShare presentation (example) for more exposure. You can get quite repetitive: The lifespan of a Tweet is so short that you can rest assured that all your tweets will be seen by different sets of eyes. I may have tweets featuring different tips going out for two months after the actual article goes live. Site traffic watchdog (yes, another opening pun, we can’t help ourselves!), Compete, shows that this year alone, website unique visitor numbers have grown 146% to average 44,807 per month this year so far.
The number of website visitors who arrive and leave immediately (the site’s bounce rate) has also fallen.
We look at how Cherrybrook has positioned itself online and share useful tips that other online retailers can use.
In the desperate rush to let our customers know we probably have what they are looking for, we forget that what they really want is the sense of pride and reward they gain when they find it for themselves. Use your home page as a mini site index that can help visitors navigate through your site and product catalog, but seek to offer them an opportunity to discover your merchandise for themselves. For example, pet travel is included, as many dog owners will need to take their animals on the road to participate in dog shows. Map out a typical day and sketch out a typical year: what are some of the key pain points, seasonal needs, and repeat events that your customers will experience?
No doubt, this was also a great way for them to gain a deeper insight into their customer needs. Look for trade shows, local events, or a community calendar of activities, related to your niche and consider participating. They do this by having a recommendation section on each product page, showing what other products shoppers are buying. It’s a bit similar to using the product category tabs at the top of the page, but lets shoppers feel more in control and allows shoppers to focus quickly on the products they are most likely to purchase.
While it is important to appeal to broad categories of products, if someone is searching for a specific product name, chances are they are ready to buy and searching online for where to buy it. One with Chris Christensen, apparently well-known in dog show circles, and the American Kennel Club (AKC).
This gives them the flexibility to build out on their own, incorporating tools like the advanced product search and recommendation engines. The site is able to recognize new visitors and after a couple of seconds shows a pop-up offer to subscribe to the site’s newsletter. This gives potential customers a reason to visit the website regularly as a reference tool as well as an eCommerce storefront. No matter where you are on a page, you can always see at least one trust signal that aims to remind you that they are a respectable business you can buy from online.
It has to be clean and simple with no distractions, so I recommend removing your left and right menus—just like Amazon do—and keep the text to a minimum and make it very succinct with clear and basic instructions of what you want the customer to do.


This is taking their checkout process to the next level; its laser focused but could be one step too far for a small business ecommerce website.
This guide is by way of links, small image icons or both and can help reduce cart and checkout abandonments. If you monitor your website stats—by setting up Goals in Google’s free Analytics software—you will see where people drop out and at which step in the checkout process.
This is the process of using two or more different checkout concepts and modifying on-page elements, randomly showing each one to customers and measuring the results. It says something like “A password allows you to view your orders, print invoices, and make address changes, action returns and place future orders faster”. Click the orange RSS tag and you’ll get the RSS feed straight to the RSS reader of your choice, or by email as and when we release it.
Factor in a typically smaller-than-your-competition budget and competing successfully can be daunting. The higher the QS, the more relevant your ad placement is to a search query and the less you will pay for that ad position. By segmenting campaigns and ad groups into tightly-knit themes you can effectively match keywords, ads and landing pages to help boost QS.
These are traditionally static image ads but they can also be text ads or even animated banners. For example, a dentist in Atlanta doesn’t want their ads showing to searchers in Los Angeles looking for a dentist. Conversely, if mobile visitors are important to you, increasing your mobile bid adjustment will help increase the chances of attracting visitors on smartphones. Matching the keywords in an ad group with the ad text will help with relevancy and Quality Score.
Typically when using extensions, advertisers will see an increase in engagement metrics like clickthrough rate and conversion rate. Calculating a true return on investment is much more realistic for advertisers who set up conversion tracking. You can utilize AdWords’ build in tracking, Google Analytics goal or event tracking, or a third-party web analytics tracking platform. Using the valuable conversion data your campaigns are collecting to drive decisions will always produce stronger results. Make it a yearly or quarterly event to engage your blog readers, expand your following and grow your blog interactions. You cannot have a good discussion without coming up with an interesting question that makes short actionable advice even possible. Personally contacting niche bloggers lets you expand and diversify your sources and, most importantly, lets you build connections with those you get in touch with. In an email to them, create a clickable link for them to make it easy to share the piece right away. Having lots of contributors on board means you have a great opportunity to engage them on social media too.
Use MavSocial or DrumUp to easily schedule each individual tweetable quotes to your Twitter as far ahead as you want.
Each of those tweets drives that contributor back to the site or encourages them to re-share to their followers (or both). You don’t need to travel far to start giving your online business a physical presence that connects you with your customer base. By using the full product name in their product catalogs, Cherrybrook are appearing higher in search engine results, and need to do much less to convert searchers into shoppers. It also builds goodwill between the retailer and their community by providing a free service that is of key value to the community.
The need to eliminate checkout resistance and consequently reduce cart abandonment rates is of prime importance, and this alone can mean the difference between an extra $10K and $100K plus in sales per month. Your prospects are emotionally charged during a checkout phase and are not thinking logically, so do not make them think too much or your sale could be lost. You will need a secure checkout—this is mandatory—and your web developer or hosting company will provide the Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Many will leave your checkout page and go hunting for money off coupon codes—and the problem is that many would-be-customers will never return to complete their order.
This is linked to your Amazon account, which is pre-loaded with your credit card and shipping address. In testing, you will find different emotional responses evoked between the two buttons, affecting sales. You then select the best performing setup, modify further until you reach your desired conversion rate, and then use it permanently on the live site. I have various different layouts on this model and all undergo thorough testing to ensure they improve conversion rates before permanent use on the live site.
In a perfect scenario, you would run split testing on your normal checkout versus the new one page checkout and measure the results. Small business owners and marketers must be precise when looking to win with PPC advertising.
No matter which works best for your business, conversion tracking is essential to determine ROI and optimize your account. Whether it’s determining messaging for ad copy, keyword bids, or campaign budgets, data is everywhere in your account. Making small adjustments to campaigns can go a long way and help save a lot of money over time. Tagging them is the most efficient way to get them to like, comment and re-share your update. These are clever relationships to build: being associated with the AKC name lends trust and confidence to Cherrybrook, while the business is also able to show its support for the key consumer organization in the niche. Keep a clear idea about who your target market is and do not try to be too many things to too many people.
Your prospect is actually creating an account by giving you their details, but you do not need to advertise the fact. This is not only about button characteristics but also depends on your product and positioning, so use appropriate button elements. Incidentally, this can be applied to almost any area of your website, from buttons to pages—more on split and multivariate testing in Step 4. Split testing would serve up both checkouts randomly and you pick the one that converts more sales.
Harvesting that data into actionable insights can help drive your overall business initiatives.
With supplier Chris Christensen, Cherrybrook is able to piggyback of the supplier’s own audience. Larger and more reputable companies such as Amazon—having more brand awareness—can explicitly ask you to create an account with fewer cart dropouts. Not only in your product, cart and checkout pages, but site-wide as well, consider your button shape, color and wording. Searches for Chris Christensen products in Google, for example, return Cherrybrook results high in the rankings.



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