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Ask A Marketer – Venturing Into The Online Marketplace

An anonymous reader from a Winnipeg-based retailer has asked to be thrown a buoy in the second installment of our Ask A Marketer series. Can you throw her the line she needs?
The Questions:

I work for a retailer in Winnipeg. We are currently looking into getting our product up on the website. We are looking to sell online and encourage customers to come back to the site or into the store so that our sales staff can compliment there already purchased items.

We’re not sure where to start. What is the common way to start this? Do we need to upload all our pictures and enter in all their product details? Is there software out there that will help us make this easier? What is the best “analytic” software to use? We have graphic designers in-house to redesign the site but does our site really need a redesign right now? We know we need to get our products up and we know our main navigation bar needs to be about the product etc but how do we start? Am I asking the right questions? If you could point me in the right direction that would be much appreciated.

What do you think?

One Comment

  1. Valla Eiriksson
    Valla Eiriksson March 28, 2007

    Canadian online stores present a series of challenges that our friends down south just don’t have. In the past 9 months I tested a number of shopping carts including several design/hosting packages, and the “quick-and-easy, out-of-the-box” one I would have chosen for its rich set of features is not available to Canadians… darn! My store will be online in a couple weeks, so unfortunately I can’t give you a link to it right now. I have a web developer who helps with the coding and customization, and who is able to implement modifications to the source code. After researching the biggest and best of the US retailers, I came to the conclusion that the only way I would be able to create something fairly similar would be to use open-source software. (OSCommerce), highly-modified and customized. OSCommerce can be integrated into your existing site. Analytics software – that depends on your budget, really. The best-of-the-best combining rich content in print and online catalogs with analytics is RichFX in New York, who partners with Omniture for the analytics. If it is just straight analytics, my research shows either Omniture or WebTrends are the two at the top of the list.

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