Thursday, December 30, 2010
I hope all of you have a safe weekend and wish you all nothing but the best in 2011!
Happy New Year!
Monday, December 27, 2010
You should be setting short term and long term goals. When we set goals, sometimes we think of the big picture too much. We need to break down our goals into what we can do day-by-day or even week-by-week. You should come up with a consistent process that works for you. Everyone has their own way of working, you just need to find your balance. Once you find your balance, you will reach your goal.
Friday, December 17, 2010
On the web, dimensions are measured in pixels. Therefore, we found a pixel ruler for you to download. You can use this tool to measure the space on your web site, and then adjust your pictures based on what you measured using the pixel ruler.
It's a safe, free download, and it'll just sit on your desktop. It'll help you greatly as you're trying to correctly size photos for your web site.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Google expects a decrease in spending for paid keywords especially among small businesses, which is why they see potential value in Groupon. While it's a large acquisition, it has consequences for small business because it's an indicator of a growing trend. The future of small business online advertising could be targeted e-mail messages.
Whether through the Loyalty Rewards program or your own efforts, start building your customer lists!
Monday, November 29, 2010
Here's an obvious point: Facebook isn't going anywhere (at least for the foreseeable future). Facebook now accounts for 25% of the page views in the United States. Facebook and Google are quickly on the way to web traffic domination.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Although celebrities and athletes receive the most attention for posting on Twitter, it can be extremely valuable not only as a marketing tool but also as an educational tool. When you choose who to follow, do it wisely because you will receive the information they "tweet" some of which can be quite valuable to you.
Even if you never post a "tweet," Twitter is a great way to monitor trends in your industry. What a great educational tool!
Monday, November 22, 2010
However, in addition to frequently changing the homepage and other pertinent pages, plan to go through your web site every three months or so to make a change on every single page. Search engines like to see that changes are made to a web site.
For example, the "Contact Us" page probably doesn't need frequent changes, but every three months, plan to make a small change to that page.
The search engines will smile upon you favorably.
Friday, November 19, 2010
You might be surprised what you can find on the Internet these days...or maybe not. There's a lot of information available, and it's not all correct.
Try a Google search for your store and see what shows up. You'd probably be surprised to see a lot of information on sites with which you have no affiliation. You'll see name, address, phone number, hours of operation, products and services and maybe even a review or two.
Periodically, perform a Google search for your store. See what's out there because some of it may not be correct (like your hours of operation), and if possible, you'll want to correct that information. You'll also want to monitor customer reviews that are posted on these sites and respond to them whether positive or negative.
So, Google your store and take inventory of the information available online because it's important to monitor and manage this part of your business.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
They chose a tier 3 web site, and we created a new catalog interface with them. We now have the ability to embed the catalog in your web site. We would still need an export from your POS system to show your store's pricing, but at least when it's embedded, it looks like your catalog and won't navigate away from your web site. Check out either Adams or Austin's web site to see how it looks.
As far as cost, if you're a tier 3, it would cost slightly more. It would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 more than the cost of a tier 3 site, which would put the total cost between the tier 3 and 4 sites.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
From there, you can upload the picture to the web site, so that it appears to your customers.
These are just sample ads that we've taken from the corporate circular in November; however, please let me know if you need them to say a different price and we can certainly adjust it to your specific pricing.
Monday, October 25, 2010
They just lauched a tier 3 web site which allows them to make their own changes through an admin portal.
Welcome them to the forum!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Quick's Hardware Hank is a tier 3 web site, and it's completely new construction. They wanted a web site for a while and purchased a name! Now they're up and running!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
It sounds like an unnecessary question, but I pose it to start a deeper discussion. Knowing your stores as I do, you all run credible businesses. Customers respect your knowledge of the business; therefore, you have a solid reputation in your community.
For a second, imagine that you stopped bringing in new products, remerchandising departments, adding Power Programs, training your employees and providing great customer service. Customers would start to question your business' credibility, and they go somewhere else to buy hardware.
Think about your web site like that. If it's not updated or new or exciting, customers will not view it as credible. They will stop visiting your web site and go to another one.
Consider your web site another storefront. It's connected to your business but is a somewhat separate entity. Keep it updated; keep it current. Your customers will notice, and then, your web site will enjoy the same credibility that your business does.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
We're close to launching a few more web sites, so look for those announcements coming soon! We can welcome them to the user group!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Note: We uploaded them in two formats with a red border and without. You can upload them either way to your web site.
Think again about the offer. We're going to come out with more generic coupons that simply give a percentage off a regular priced item, but it'll be a stronger offer than maybe some of these coupons. However, please let us know if you would like these coupons edited to make a stronger offer!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Customers always ask: "What's in it for me?" If the offer adequately satisfies that question, they will visit your store.
So, when you're putting a coupon on your web site, think about what offer you can put up to excite your customers. None of this is new information to you, but I just thought I reinforce it.
Look for the September coupons tomorrow! If you would like to use them, you can download them from this blog.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Just think about all the e-mails you send and receive each day. Maybe it's a lot, maybe it's not that many. Either way, your e-mail communication will probably increase over the next few years, and you'll probably communicate with your customers via e-mail more and more.
At any rate, consider adding your web site to your e-mail signature. Below, I've used myself as an example of what it could look like:
United Hardware Distributing
That's a pretty basic e-mail signature, but you could do something similar using your web site. It's another great way to advertise your web site. I'll continue to share more of these simple ideas to promote your web site.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Unfortunately, posting pictures on your web sites isn't just as simple as grabbing a photo and dropping it on the site. It can be that simple, but the picture may be too big when viewing it. For those visiting your site, it can cause a slower (and longer) load time which will frustrate them. It can also just mess with the formatting and make for a strange site layout.
Below are just some "helpful hints" (I hope) for making your pictures web-friendly:
- When adding photos in the admin portal, always have your "live" site open. Then, you can hit the refresh button to see how the uploaded photo looks on the real site. If it's huge, you can go back to your admin window and resize the picture.
- You have some editing capability within the admin portal of your web site. You can edit the size of the photo from the "Image" button. There should be two boxes to the left of your picture preview once you grab the photo from your computer. Those boxes are labeled "Width" and "Height," and you can change one of the numbers and it will automatically resize the other number proportionally. So, you can make your pictures smaller through that function.
Hint: Next to the Width/Height is a "Lock Ratio" button. Make sure you have that locked so your picture will resize proportionally.
- You can also edit the photo by clicking on the picture. If you click on it, little boxes will line the outside of the photo. You can grab a corner box and resize the photo, but make sure you size it proportionally.
- Lastly, I found two web sites that will help you resize/crop photos for FREE! They're fairly similar sites with a few subtle differences, but you can use the site with which you're most comfortable. Here are the links to those sites: Pic Resize or Web Resizer. They're also listed at the top of this post.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about uploading pictures. I want it to be easy for you to upload web-friendly pictures. You have editing options in the admin portal, but those web sites give you even more options as far as editing.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
To create the coupons, we look at the corporate sales. It's the easiest thing to do to for our purposes even though some of you run Dealer's Choice ads. Let me know if you have any coupon ideas or a better way to approach it.
For August, we have created ads for the following vendors: Rubbermaid, Plymouth Forge, 3M, Softsoap-Ajax.
We will have coupons for September shortly. Happy updating!!
Monday, August 9, 2010
Douglas Hardware Hank already had a web site, but they wanted to give it a little facelift. We took their old site and rolled it into our design and template. They also liked the option to make their own changes, so they went with a tier 3 site.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
They launched a tier 3 web site yesterday, so welcome them to the group with open arms!
Side note: Stay tuned for further web developments. Tom, Scott and I are working on things to make updating your web sites easier!
Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Well, she has a great idea. She plans to charge an employee with the task of updating her web site. She will guide the employee and proof everything before it goes "live," but it will help her keep the site fresh.
You may have already done this, but if you haven't, seriously consider it. You have enough on your plate! In some cases, you may find a trustworthy employee who can take on this task.
How much time would you have to allow for an employee to do this when they punch in each day? 30 minutes? An hour? It may be worth it.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Click here for an article that gives you some tips on getting started when it comes to your web site. Even if you have a web site, the article will help you develop your web strategy.
Having a clearer picture of what you want your site to accomplish will make the task of producing one less scary.
When thinking about those things, shoot for the stars...as they say. Your site CAN push product. Don't think you have to settle for a site that just acts as a brochure. You can develop an interactive site and include your customers in the experience, and we have this blog to help you with that.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
We will start with some of our larger Partnership vendors. Once these have been created, we will share them with you. Look back at this blog to find out when they're finished.
Please comment on this blog post with specific vendors, and we will make sure to create an ad for those that you list in your comments.
I will commit to posting, on a regular basis, anything and everything related to our dealer web sites. It could be new developments on our end or simply new ideas from outside sources.
Please use this blog as an opportunity to share with your fellow dealers. Comment on my posts or let us know how you're using your site, what's working and what's not. This is also an opportunity to share any new ideas.
Just a couple housekeeping issues:
- On the right hand side, you can use the Google search function to find things on this blog.
- You can also sign up as a follower which means you should receive updates when someone adds a new post or comment.
- At the bottom of the page, I've started a "Links" box. I'll just post links to important or useful web sites giving tips or sharing new ideas.