Get Found with TheFind: Increase Your Online Exposure

Online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds, so it’s easy for online stores to feel lost on how to increase their visibility. With TheFind, however, getting your products found by shoppers is easy – in fact, we may already be sending you referrals!

Want to work with us to gain exposure online and optimize your store on TheFind.com? Then read on.

Who is TheFind?

TheFind is a shopping search engine – the #2 shopping engine as of ComScore’s May numbers. We’re an increasing source of traffic for merchants big and small!

Benefits:

  • Get found by the 18mm shoppers who visit our site every month.
  • Showcase your store and products for free.
  • Access TheFind Merchant Center to control and optimize your product listings.
  • How can I start working with TheFind directly?

    Registering in our Merchant Center is the way to start! Claim your store in our Merchant Center in order to use our features, like:

    1) TheFind UpFront Program: the UpFront badge is a symbol of trust for shoppers that is placed on your homepage and shares important store information with them that, in turn, helps merchants improve their conversion and click through rates. Because we value this increased transparency, we also give UpFront Members an additional boost in visibility on the site. On average, merchants have seen an increase in visibility and traffic of 10% after joining the program.
    2) Product Feed Upload Tool: submit a direct, comprehensive product feed to improve your products’ relevancy and freshness.
    3) Customizing product results: Add a promotional snippet, a store logo, or even a vanity coupon.


    What if I work with a feed partner?

    Great news – we can work with any feed management team. You’ll need to set up and verify your account in order to access our feed upload tool.

    What are the fees?

    There are no fees for registering and claiming your store, joining the UpFront Program, or submitting a direct feed!

    Let us know if you have any other questions. For technical assistance, please contact the Merchant Support Team at merchantsupport@thefind.com.

    IMA Bronze Membership Now Free

    E-commerce moves so swiftly. Seems like just the other day we were talking about Google Checkout, and now we’ve got to figure out whether or not we’re going to use Facebook’s social plugins. And the list goes on, doesn’t it?

    Because we at IMA are serious about the benefits we provide to ecommerce practitioners, we’re now offering etailers a unique opportunity to join the association and reap the full benefits of being a member—including access to the IMA’s private member forum, where you can engage with and learn from other members, gaining insight into e-commerce best practices you won’t find anywhere else.

    Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond members can also avail additional amenities depending on their membership level, including a dedicated company platform within IMA’s member-only forum, speaking opportunities, and discounted rates to the IMA’s annual conference held every March in conjunction with the annual ASD/AMD trade show.

    Effective immediately etailers can join the IMA at the Bronze level (a US $99 value) for one year. Just select the “Bronze Plan” on our registration page here, and you’ll be in.

    Go ahead, do it. Join now.

    Reflections on the 2010 IMA Conference

    I budget a lot of money on seminars every year, I feel my education is important to me and my business. Although IMA is fairly a new trade association, I continue to be impressed with the conferences that is put on. This year’s conference, which I’m still thinking about, was no exception.

    I didn’t have the opportunity to go to all of the ASD & IMA seminars (this photo by IMA president Fred Neff is of just one of the well-attended seminars).

    Because I’m familiar with videos and blogging, the rest of the social media venues and networks intrigue me most. So I found this video extremely powerful, and I hope you’ll take the time to watch it.

    I keep remembering what Rick Wilson of Miva Merchant (an IMA diamond member) said: social media is a “circle of life.” It’s about the three C’s: connections, then conversation, and then conversations. So if we can build a community of supporters for our businesses and give them good content, they can help us tremendously with our marketing.

    Here are some free tools I learned about at the conference:

    • Backtype.com, which is a real-time tool for you to keep tabs of what people are saying about your business
    • Alterian has a freemium version of its monitoring service for you to monitor your social media venues
    • Here is a free tool that helps you with documents, www.docstoc.com
    • And another for PowerPoint presentations, www.slideshare.net

    What did you enjoy most about the conference? Please share your learnings.

    IMA Conference: Need a Reason To Register?

    Here is a preview of just one session from the 2010 IMA Conference….

    rick wilson

    Have you ever shopped on a website and couldn’t find the checkout link? Have you wanted to add another product and couldn’t figure out how to do it? Were you required to fill out a lengthy registration form that seemed to never end? And then you finally got to the end only to find out that the products were out of stock? Does this describe YOUR checkout process?

    Customers want to buy your products and they want the process to be quick and easy without any hassles. Rick Wilson, MIVA Merchant will be presenting “Top 10 Tips for Designing a Great Checkout Process” at the Internet Merchants Association Conference in Las Vegas, March 2-3, 2010. This is just one topic that you don’t want to miss!

    Sign up today at the discounted Early Bird rates, but hurry – this offer ends Sunday, January 17th.

    Business Conference – How Do You Continue Your Education

    written by Cathy, Visibility Unlimited

    We all think we are the best person to grow our business. The best person for SEO, the best web designer, the best IT person, the best at everything we do. But the problem is that your competitors think the same. The e-commerce industry moves so fast that it is actually impossible to keep up with all the trends and changes. You need help; we all need help to stay ahead of our competitors.

    I have taken my education very seriously the last few years and to be honest, the improvement in my bottom line is the proof that it was well worth it. I have gone to business seminars, web design conferences, SEO conferences and many marketing seminars and to me, the cost of being away from my business and the conference expenses were worth every penny. A conference can cost up to thousands of dollars and when you spend this kind of money, it is important to make sure that this investment is going to help your business grow.

    One of my favorite conferences that I look forward to every year is the one from the Internet Merchants Association (IMA) which will be held in Las Vegas, March 2-3,2010. It is presented in conjunction with the ASD/AMD Sourcing Show where IMA offers free business seminars to the attendees. This year on the 1st & 2nd of March, IMA will present titles that include “The ABCs of Web Design”, “Big Ideas for Small Businesses” and “Get Found in Search Engines: SEO 101″ to just name a few.

    Rick Wilson, Vice President of MIVA Merchant will present an important topic at the IMA Conference, “Top 10 Tips for Designing a Great Checkout Process.” I look forward to hearing what expert Rick has to say about the checkout process. The checkout process for your customers is so important and if your customers “don’t get it” then you can be out of business quickly.

    While I love to blog, I am not consistent with the “other” social media stuff. I really do understand it but there has to be a way to make it more financially viable for my business. “Nine Ways to Make Your E-Commerce Site More Social” will help me pull it all together and complete my 2010 plan for my business. Another title that I am looking forward to attending at the IMA Conference in March is “How 21st Century PR Can Build Your Brand”.

    I hope you can attend the IMA Conference, March 2-3 in Las Vegas. If you do attend, track me down and I will be happy to buy you a few drinks in the IMA Networking Suite.

    Online Retailers: FTC Is Watching Your Endorsements

    written by Cathy, SnorkelingOnline

    SEO is always on my mind. Ok, call me a dork… but organic search is very important to my ecommerce business. And with SEO, blogging is up on my “to do” list. Now who doesn’t like blogging? You can tell the world what your personal opinion is. And this can include product endorsements.

    As President of Internet Merchants Association, I am going to tell online retailers, that ASD/AMD is the best & largest sourcing show in the world. Their next show is February 28-March 3, 2010 in Las Vegas. You can find almost anything you are looking for, to sell online.

    Now, what is wrong with that statement? I am endorsing ASD/AMD. And the Federal Trade Commission recently says that I need to disclose to the consumer that Internet Merchants Association accepts money or free products from ASD/AMD (actually we trade services) for a review on their product/services. The FTC is taking a closer look at how we (bloggers) are promoting ecommerce merchants.

    So to all the bloggers, becareful… state your relationship & payments accepted or you could get in legal trouble which could include a fine of up to $11,000.

    Social Networks: Is Big Brother Watching You?

    written by Cathy,SnorkelingOnline

    This does not include only online ecommerce sellers, this involves everyone who is involved in social networking. Make time to read this report, that was released last month, On the Leakage of Personally Identifiable Information Via Online Social Networks.

    Over half a billion people are on various Online Social Networks (OSNs) and have made available a vast amount of personal information on these OSNs. OSN users make movements around the Internet can now be tracked not just as an IP address, but be associated with the unique identifier used to store information about users on an OSN. This OSN identifier is a pointer to PII about the user. Cookies and other tracking mechanisms on the Internet have been prevalent for a long time. The general claim of aggregators is that they create profiles of users based on their Internet behavior, but do not gather or record PII. Although we do not know that aggregators are recording PII, we demonstrate with this work that it is undeniable that information is available to them. Aggregators do not have to take any action to receive this information. As part of requests, they receive OSN identifiers with pointers to the PII or in some cases, directly receive pieces of PII. This PII information can be joined with information from tracking cookies obtained from the user’s traversal to any site that triggers a visit to the same aggregator. The ability to link information across traversals on the Internet coupled with the wide range of daily actions performed by hundreds of millions of users on the Internet raises privacy issues, particularly to the extent users may not understand the consequences of having their PII information available to aggregators.

    While most social networks do have a policy that state that they do provide non-identifiable information to third parties for advertisers, but what they dont tell you is that with the advanced technology, they can now allow third parties to access your user name, birth date, sex, social security numbers, etc. and other linable personable identifiable information that can identify the user. Is this violating their private policies? Be cautious of what private information you put about yourself and your business.

    Social Networking – How Much Time Do You Spend?

    written by Snorkeling Online

    Can we agree that there is 24 hours in a day. And lets hope that we get at least 6 hours of sleep and we work a minimum 8 hours a day. That leaves us 10 hours a day to spend with family & friends, get dinner, run errands and the other fun stuff that is required of an adult.

    As an online seller, an online retailer, how many hours a day are you being social? How many hours a day are you spending on the Internet Merchants Association forum?

    Ok, I admit, I am not on Facebook yet (though I have to get this done, I need to keep an eye on Burne who is very dear to me and who I highly respect). And I am not twittering, tweeting, twit, twat… whatever the lingo is. Why? Because I heard that this new social media is addictive. I understand that it is important for my business and will focus on this first, but socially, with your friends, how many hours a day do you spend chatting, not on your e-commerce business?

    I am not judging, just curious…

    E-Commerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

    written by Cathy, VisibilityUnlimited.com

    I was talking to a friend tonight and she mentioned that she had a very high cart abandonment on her website. Experts say that ‘high’ is anything over 20% and if your shopping cart is higher, it would be to your financial interest to figure out why.

    So I did a little research and found the reasons for consumer cart abandonment. But the number 1 reason is because of high shipping charges.

    Other reasons consumers abandon e-commerce shopping carts are because they want to:

  • compare shopping with other internet shopping sites
  • lack of money to spend
  • research for coupons for your site
  • shop offline
  • you don’t offer their choice of payment
  • out of stock at checkout
  • you do not offer support
  • concern of credit card security
  • Because this is such a wide discussion, today I am only going to talk about high shipping charges. So how do you fix this issue? Well the obvious solution is to adjust your shipping charges. Can you revisit your costs and negotiate a better rate with your shipping company. Crunch your numbers folks, get your shipping charges in line with your competitors. This is a very important step to online selling.

    Another idea is not to surprise your customer with the charges and have an ‘estimate your shipping charges’ program on your main site, so your customer does not go through the troubles of checking out and then realize that the shipping charges are to high. There are programs (or you can have one written), that shows you who left their shopping cart and you can see if you can save the sale with a phone call or email. Check your shopping cart software to see if they offer either option. I have also seen with companies that have pop up boxes that you can offer a % discount after they bail on your site, just to sway the possible customer come back and complete the sale.

    Is FREE shipping expected to consumers? In this economy, it doesnt hurt. Online consumers are not expecting free shipping on every product but they are expecting reasonable shipping charges. You don’t have to offer free shipping for every sale, put a dollar value on it and watch your sales increase.

    Because your e-commerce site is so important to you, have outsiders (family, IMA members, customers) go through your checkout process and let them be brutally honest with what their opinion is, as a consumer, and let them tell you what is wrong. It can only help.