Tag Archives: Online Marketing

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What is Multi-Channel eCommerce?

Multi-Channel eCommerce

Every week there seems to be new buzzwords floating around. A few weeks ago, no-one was using Vine, but now you’ll see their short video clips popping up everywhere. Staying on trend is extremely important for web developers, but it’s also a necessity for all businesses, especially if you’re selling goods or services online.

The latest key idea for online stores is Multi-Channel eCommerce. This method of trading has been around for as long as the internet, but it’s only recently that companies are starting to get up to spend with selling their products through a variety of methods. To understand how to harness Multi-Channel eCommerce for your business, you’ll have to know what each of the channels are.

Direct Traffic
This involves people seeking out your website by typing in the URL, and is the way a lot of major brands make their online profits. However, for smaller companies, getting direct traffic to your site often involves a lot of offline marketing and advertising, which can prove extremely costly.

Search Engine Optimisation
Honing in on your audience through good SEO is the most effective way to reach your customers and sell your services. Getting your website in the first page of Google rankings, or even better, at number one, will increase your sales exponentially. Populating your site with the right keywords is a surefire way to get your website up the rankings, increasing your sales in the process.

Online Advertising
Paid advertising on search engines can also be great for gaining exposure and gaining sales. Banner advertising isn’t always effective, while it’s often difficult to judge the success of radio, newspaper, or television campaigns. On the other hand, Google Adwords can be tracked and analysed to see exactly what works to reach your target audience.

Marketplaces
A few years ago, eBay was synonymous with online shopping. While eBay isn’t as big a name as it once was, many Irish businesses find success selling their products through third-party websites, such as online retail giant Amazon or specific online marketplaces like The Fashion Shed – keep in mind, however, these third-party sites will take a share of your profits if you use them, but they can be an excellent way to reach more customers that you might ordinarily reach through your own eCommerce channels.

Mobile
A lot of bigger stores have their own apps for iPhone, Android, and other mobile and tablet devices, but if your brand isn’t a big name already, it will be difficult to convince people to download your app, and very expensive to develop it in the first place. A responsive Online Shop will be much more effective for small to medium enterprises, as all smartphones come with an inbuilt web browser, making it convenient to purchase products straight from your phone. It’s also very useful if your live website looks the same across all devices, which creates a sense of familiarity for your customers.

Social Media
Social Media can be great for connecting with your customers, receiving feedback, and providing assistance. As well as that, you can use social media to promote individual products, and even sell directly to your customers through apps on Facebook and Pinterest. Having thousands of likes on Facebook or followers on twitter not only leaves you with a guaranteed audience to target, but also helps build your brand reputation when it comes to winning over new customers.

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How to increase your Facebook engagement

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Marketing your business has never been cheaper. Instead of spending hundreds or thousands of euro on newspaper, radio, or on television advertising, you can now promote your brand effectively online for little or no cost.

Facebook advertising can be hugely effective for Irish companies, and we work with many of our customers to help them plan their online marketing strategies. Targeted paid advertising and competitions will bring in new likes for your Facebook page, but there’s no point in buying likes without keeping those likes engaged.

Update frequently

If you allow your Facebook page to go stale, then don’t be surprised if you never get any likes, shares, or comments. Anyone who has liked your page already is interested in what you have to offer, so don’t be afraid to discuss anything new in your industry. If some new stock comes in, tell your fans about it.

Talk about the weather

You don’t always need to talk about your business on your business page. Current events are always a great way to get people talking, whether it’s this weekend’s big GAA game or last night’s Coronation Street cliffhanger, people like discussing what’s in the news – and Irish people especially, we love talking about the weather!

A picture paints a thousand words

Getting people to share anything other than a competition is a tricky task, but not impossible. An amazing photograph will get people talking, but also get plenty of shares – especially if it’s something funny that they might want to pass on to their friends.

Create an opinion poll

Use the Question option (under Offer/Event) when creating a new status to get your fans engaged. You don’t even have to keep it on topic, just make it interesting enough that people will want to give their opinion. Every time someone answers your poll, it’ll show up on their own wall, which will encourage their own friends to participate as well.

Don’t be afraid to ask

If you look at American companies on Facebook, you’ll see they always try to encourage interaction from their fans. You can be direct on Facebook to build engagement – a call to action can really help get your fans talking. If you tell people to do it, don’t be surprised if they actually follow your instructions!

Schedule posts in advance

It’s far better to stay up-to-date with your status updates, but there’s many things you can schedule posts for – such as upcoming events, special offers, and even new stock announcements. Online tools like Hootsuite are great for planning ahead, ensuring that your page stays active, even if you’re away. Remember, you can always edit an update before it’s posted, so keeping on topic is never much of a problem!

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Google Online Marketing Challenge

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One of UCD School of Business’s eMarketing classes is running its annual Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC) this semester. We arelooking for SMEs who would like to avail of this fantastic opportunity of having highly motivated Business students (many of them come from prestigious Universities in the United States currently spending one semester at UCD) designing and implementing an online marketing campaign utilizing Google AdWords.


With a free US$250 budget provided by Google, students develop and run an online advertising campaign for a business or non-profit organization over a three-week period. I anticipate running the campaign this March and would be delighted helping local businesses through this project.

Please contact the eMarketing module coordinator Matt Glowatz (matt.glowatz@ucd.ie) if you are interested in participating or have any further questions.

Via Wexford County Enterprise Board Newsletter