In December a panel of internet entrepreneurs shared their stories and their keys to success with my BYU marketing and Provo Labs Academy students. One young woman told how she had teamed up a few years ago with her brother to start an ecommerce site, selling a very unusual niche product. They did almost $1 million in revenue last year. One student asked her how long it took for her sales to take off initially. Her answer surprised me: she worked for an entire week before she had her first sale.
Check out the Alexa ranking of CyberMonday.com which lists special holiday discount offers from more than 400 ecommerce retailers. Shop.org is a important association of ecommerce companies. I have always appreciated their press releases and market research. But that they are promoting online sales for all their member companies is another good reason to consider joining this association.
If you run an internet business with the potential for rapid growth, and you use a merchant account for processing credit card transactions, please check your merchant account monthly limit before you encounter the problem that we experienced over the weekend. Wikipedia has a decent article on Merchant Accounts, but until I edited it today it said nothing about monthly transaction limits.
If you can afford to stop working for part or all of the next three days, you can hear from dozens of the most successful online marketers in the industry--for free and from the convenience of your own home or office. (Or you can sign up for $99.95 and get access to more than 175 online presentations--that's one a day for the next 6 months.)
Congratulations to Infopia for closing on an $8 million funding round from Hummer Winblad and Trident Capital. Infopia is an ecommerce platform that helps customers get their products onto sites such as eBay, Amazon, Google, Overstock, Shopzilla and others. Bjorn Espenes and his partners have made some very powerful breakthroughs in e-commerce automation. This funding round is great to see.
Google Base starts taking cash - vnunet.com If you try using Google Base to take payments from customers, let me (and my readers) know how well it works. It seems improbably that Google Base will take any users away from PayPal which is so standard now. At least, it will take a long time to make a dent, unless somehow the user experience is better with Google Base.
I have a friend who uses Zoovy for her e-commerce system. That is the only way -- until today -- that I had heard of the company. But today I was very impressed to discover that they have already integrated their e-commerce services with Google Analytics, Google Base and Google Site Map. My friend really likes Zoovy. Now I can see why.
Last week Shop.org held their annual conference in Las Vegas. This week it's the Electronic Retailing Association, same place. If you haven't been to an internet conference recently, it's amazing how big things are getting and how fast things are moving. I visited every exhibitor at the Shop.org event last and met at least a dozen companies that I hadn't heard of before that are doing interesting things in online marketing, comparison shopping, search, and web analytics. Here are a few impressions: