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Tim Peter

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July 16, 2014

Where Your Customers Are Taking Marketing – Thinks Out Loud Episode 81

July 16, 2014 | By | No Comments

Follow the leader

Where Your Customers Are Taking Marketing Headlines and Show Notes

You might also enjoy this look at what your customers expect from e-commerce in 2014 and my slides from the “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing” talk I gave recently:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 37s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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July 14, 2014

The 2014 E-commerce and Internet Marketing All-Stars: The Top 9 Blogs

July 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

2014 Internet Marketing and E-commerce Blogging all starsEvery year for the last few years, I’ve been rounding up the blogs and bloggers who help me get better at e-commerce and Internet marketing and who force me to think about our industry in new and often unexpected ways every day. Without further ado, here’s this year’s list:

  1. Leading off are the fine folks at Get Elastic, ably led by Linda Bustos (@Roxyyo on Twitter). Get Elastic claims to be the #1 most subscribed e-commerce blog and it’s easy to see why.
  2. Clearly, there’s a huge shift towards mobile in both e-commerce and digital marketing. Which is why I rely on my old friend Karen McGrane to help make sense of it all. While Karen blogs about more than just business, she’s funny, insightful, and always a good read. (I also couldn’t keep up without the news I get from Mobile Commerce Daily, um… daily).
  3. The team of bloggers at Biznology offer tons of great content and context every day, under the guidance of the legendary Mike Moran (Full disclosure: I’ve written a monthly post for the blog there since 2010, but I’m really recognizing the other bloggers there. I’m not that self-serving).
  4. Another source I couldn’t live without is Benedict Evans’ eponymous blog. Ben talks more about technology and investing than marketing or e-commerce. But his understanding of the shifts occurring every day in the digital space are “must-read.”
  5. Search still comprises one of the primary digital channels. And that’s why I check out Search Engine Land every day.
  6. For all my Travel Tuesday fans, you owe it to yourself to check out Vikram Singh’s Words of Vikram blog. Somehow, Vikram and I have never met, but I look forward to trading ideas with a very smart, very capable fellow fan of the travel space sometime in the near future.
  7. Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation offers spectacular insights about the state of digital that you really need to read.
  8. If social’s part of your game plan, make sure you visit Mack Collier’s blog. Mack hosts the weekly #blogchat on Twitter that’s well-worth checking out too.
  9. Finally, no list of e-commerce and digital marketing blogging all-stars is complete without Seth’s Blog, by the incomparable Seth Godin. Such a smart guy. I learn something new every time I check him out. You probably will too.

There you have them, Big Thinkers. Your 2014 E-commerce and Internet Marketing All-Stars. Read ‘em. Listen to ‘em. Love ‘em. And for more great tips, tools, and techniques, take some time to review the 2013, 2012, and 2011 editions of the list, too.

Interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

Given the popularity of the Travel Tuesday series, you may also want to review the tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. Again, it was built for a travel audience, but its lessons apply across industries. The full deck is here:

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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July 8, 2014

6 Key Secrets Every Hotel Marketer Should Know (Travel Tuesday)

July 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hotel marketing secrets to drive bookingsWant to know what separates the best hotel marketers from the also-rans? While there’s no one single thing, a few trends have emerged that contribute to success. Here are the 6 key secrets you ought to know for your hotel marketing efforts:

  1. Mobile is here. Now. I’ve talked — at length — about how big mobile travel really is. And it just keeps getting bigger. Scarcely a day passes without some new bit of data showing how frequently your guests use mobile to search and browse and find and book travel. It’s time to take mobile seriously for your business. OTA’s have invested significant amounts of money, time, and people into improving their mobile experiences for guests. It’s time you do, too.
  2. Millennials have arrived. Ignore them at your own risk. Data shows that millennials will spend more on trips this year than Gen X, increasing their spending almost 20% from last year, and that roughly one out of four millennials are planning more overnight leisure trips for leisure than last year. This doesn’t mean that you abandon Boomers or, if they’re a big part of your mix, Gen X. Not at all. However, as Jeff Bezos of Amazon recently pointed out, “All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you’re Woolworth’s.” Consider how often senior executives from the big brands — Marriott, Hilton, Airbnb, Expedia — talk about millennials publicly (hint: Often). Boomers are beginning to age out of the marketplace, while millennials are coming on strong. You need to think about your next generation of travelers now.
  3. Search is getting expensive. Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m a huge fan of search marketing. It works well for most hotels to drive traffic and reservations. Unfortunately, for a whole slew of reasons, it’s getting increasingly expensive. More hotels use paid search than ever before. OTA’s increasingly use paid search to dominate the search results. And, guests have shifted to mobile in a big way — brining with it lower conversion rates and higher acquisition costs. As a result, you’re almost certainly seeing increased costs for paid search. A number of approaches exist to improve your booking costs from search. Use these approaches to hold your costs down. And you must also continue to look for additional sources for traffic and reservations beyond search (and you can ask me for help too).
  4. Metasearch will continue to evolve. Sadly, metasearch probably isn’t one of the ways to find traffic and reservations — at least not for long. Metasearch isn’t a product. It’s a feature. Expedia, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and, yes, Google, can add metasearch features to they’re products anytime they choose (and some already have). Metasearch doesn’t represent the “Holy Grail” that will break the dominance of OTA’s on travel search. Hell, most of the big metasearch companies are owned by the OTA’s. Instead, metasearch as a feature represents just the latest step in the long evolution of price transparency in the hospitality space. Use them accordingly, highlighting why guests can expect to get the best rate and, more importantly, the greatest value when booking direct.
  5. Reviews matter. A lot. On the flip side, reviews offer a great way to reach guests and convey your hotel’s story. In fact, effectively managing your reviews represents the single best way to improve your digital marketing. Check out the current review landscape: Review volumes are way, way up. Guests continue to value reviews. And management (i.e., your competitors) are getting better at responding to reviews. Again, it’s about transparency. Use dedicated review sites such as TripAdvisor, Google+, and Yelp, as well as OTA review management tools to help answer your guest’s questions and drive more engaged guests.
  6. Your customer data is better than anyone else’s. Despite its age, email marketing remains among the most effective ways to engage with guests. Why? Well, you’re talking to a guest who travels, who has stayed with you before, and, as long as you’re following best practices for email collection, has agreed that he or she wants to hear from you. Even better, that guest is someone your competitors can’t reach as easily. Continue to grow your email list. Focus on testing what works in terms of open rate, click-through, effective rate, and conversion. Then apply what you learn from those tests the next time to improve your overall customer acquisition costs.

The simple fact is, whether you’re a single-property owner, management company, or major brand, independent or chain, you can compete with the Big Boys. But only if you’re smart about it. Trying to go toe-to-toe with large brands or OTA’s, trading blows in the center of the ring, is a terrible strategy. They have more money, people and data than you do. But, you can change the rules, and focus on improving your interactions with guests at every step in the process — regardless of marketing or distribution channel — to highlight your value and your values. Guests increasingly appreciate knowing more about their hosts and how they fit into the community (note the rise of Airbnb, for instance). Use that to your advantage. You may not be able to go toe-to-toe with the OTA’s. But the biggest secret of all is that, if you do this well, you won’t need to.

Interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And, if you’re curious about other trends shaping travel marketing, take a look at my recent presentation, called, aptly enough, “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing”:

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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July 7, 2014

The Shocking Truth About Millennials and Digital Media

July 7, 2014 | By | No Comments

Millennial couple using mobile to shopWow. Talk about burying the lede. Marketing Charts highlights research from Experian that shows how Millennials consume media, and notes the prominence of TV:

“But, Millennials share a common trait with their older counterparts: of the various devices available to them, TV still rules, accounting for the single largest share of their total weekly media time. For Millennials, TV captures about 25 hours of their 67 weekly hours of media time, or about 37% share. “

This data ignores the fact that Millennials consume 32 hours of media weekly using digital technologies. Now, last time I checked 32 hours (digital) is more than 25 hours (TV). Yes, they’re using multiple devices to access digital media, but that’s besides the point. Truly. Whether a consumer chooses their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop to get on the web, use apps, or watch digital video has much more to do with what’s close at hand, not whether they prefer a given device.

And speaking of smartphones:

“Millennials — not surprisingly — are avid smartphone users. On average, Millennial smartphone owners spend roughly 14.5 hours per week using their devices, or more than 2 hours per day. Overall, they account for 41% share of aggregate time that Americans spend with smartphones, despite comprising just 29% of the population.”

Even more impressive:

“Some 43% of Millennials access the internet more through their phone than via a computer…”

I mentioned a story in last week’s podcast about Jeff Bezos talking to the staffers at the Washington Post, where he shared the following wisdom:

“What has been happening over the last few years can’t continue to happen,” [Bezos] insisted. “All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you’re Woolworth’s.

And, as I noted in the podcast, if you don’t know what Woolworth’s is, that’s the point.

Again, the simple fact is that Millennials spend more time using digital than any other demographic cohort. Millennials spend more time using their smartphones than any other demographic cohort. And Millennials are more likely to use their smartphone as their primary way to access the Internet. We’re witnessing a changing of the guard here, folks. It’s time to recognize that fact and align your efforts with the changing needs of your customers. Or run the risk of becoming Woolworth’s — even if you don’t know what that is.

Interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

Given the popularity of the Travel Tuesday series, you may also want to review the tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. Again, it was built for a travel audience, but its lessons apply across industries. The full deck is here:

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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July 2, 2014

What Works in Digital Today? Thinks Out Loud Episode 79

July 2, 2014 | By | No Comments

What works in digital today?

What Works in Digital Today? Headlines and Show Notes

You might also enjoy this look at what your customers expect from e-commerce in 2014 and my slides from the “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing” talk I gave recently:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 18m 24s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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July 1, 2014

14 Killer Resources for Hotel Marketers: Travel Tuesday’s Best of 2014

July 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

Travel guests mobileHow is it possible that 2014′s half-over? For most hotel marketers, you’re already looking towards your 2015 budgeting and planning. As you prep for next year, now’s a good time to look back at the trends driving your guests’ behaviors — and how you can use those in your digital marketing, distribution, and e-commerce going forward. With that in mind, I’ve pulled together the 14 most popular posts of 2014 so far for you to review. Here’s what we’ve got:

  1. It’s no secret how important mobile is for hotel guests making travel plans, as this post, “Holy Crap! Mobile’s Even Bigger Than You Thought,” clearly illustrates.
  2. While coming in at #2, this look at “How to Use Emotion and Storytelling in Digital Marketing” was wildly popular among your fellow hotel and travel marketers.
  3. When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton famously said, “That’s where the money is.” The same could be said about affluent travelers, which likely explains the popularity of this next post, “4 Lessons You Need to Know from Google’s Affluent Traveler Report.”
  4. Few hotel marketing techniques work as effectively as improving your online review situation. This post, “What’s the State of Hotel Reputation Management?” clearly demonstrates why.
  5. Don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to go to HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference. This round-up of the “10 Essential Lessons Learned From HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference” will let you know what you missed.
  6. It looks increasingly like two major intermediaries want to dominate the online travel space. Check out “What in the World are Priceline and TripAdvisor Up To?” to understand what that means for your hotel.
  7. Another major post that highlights mobile’s importance is “It’s Time You Take Mobile Seriously. Here’s Why.”
  8. Sure, Priceline and TripAdvisor are making some major moves in the travel space. But I wouldn’t count out Expedia. In fact, this look at “What Expedia’s Leaders Can Teach You About Digital Strategy” might just represent required reading for today’s hospitality markers.
  9. Interested in making the most of social for your hotel marketing? Then check out “The 4 Rules of Social Marketing for Hotel Marketers.”
  10. It seems the OTA landscape is getting more and more complicated every day. This post, “Search? Metasearch? What’s the Difference?” should help eliminate some of the confusion for you.
  11. Looking for a set of simple rules as you develop your strategy for 2015? Check out “How to Take Charge of Your Travel Marketing” for some tips and tools that can help you.
  12. Yet another look at mobile’s growing importance, “This Week’s Sign That Mobile Rules,” offers still more ideas on how to incorporate mobile into your digital strategy — and why you should.
  13. I’m not opposed to OTA’s. They often can help you reach guests you might not reach on your own. But, that doesn’t mean everything they offer is good for your hotel. For instance, this post, “Warning: OTA’s Want to Own Your Guest Every Step of the Way,” uncovers recent changes that could cost you guests and revenue down the road.
  14. Finally, “A Fair and Balanced Look at Balancing Direct and OTA Business” explores how to make the most of OTA’s in your overall travel distribution and marketing and is well worth the read.

Interested in learning even more about the future of hospitality e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” Developed specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons can help your business adapt to the changing guest environment. You can get your free copy of the report here.

Given the overall popularity of the Travel Tuesday series, you may also want to review the tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. I’ve presented this talk to a number of hospitality and travel-related organizations and you might find it valuable for your business, too:

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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June 30, 2014

What You Need This Month: The Top 10 Digital Marketing and E-commerce Posts in June

June 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

E-commerce and marketing executives reviewing content on a tabletCurious about the top 10 posts from June? Thought you might be. Without further ado, here’s what we’ve got:

  1. Your favorite post this past month was this Travel Tuesday entry, “What in the World are Priceline and TripAdvisor Up To?”
  2. Coming in at a very close second was this look at search engine marketing, which explained “What Google Won’t Tell You About Search Engine Marketing.”
  3. You all really enjoyed another Travel Tuesday post, “Warning: OTA’s Want to Own Your Guest Every Step of the Way.”
  4. My weekly podcast, Thinks Out Loud, covers all manner of e-commerce and digital marketing strategy questions. Episode 76, “Why Mobile Commerce Will Be Even Bigger Than You Think,” was your fourth most popular post in June.
  5. “Wickedly Effective Laws for E-commerce Websites,” a look at best practices for e-commerce websites was the next most popular item last month.
  6. Another podcast episode, ‘What Does “It’s All E-commerce” Really Mean?’ comes in at #6.
  7. Your next top item comes from the Travel Tuesday series, and uncovers “The Little-Known Factor That Will Kill Your Hotel Marketing.”
  8. The 75th episode of Thinks Out Loud must have been a good one, because this look at “What’s Wrong With Mobile and E-commerce Best Practices?” was your 8th favorite topic this past month.
  9. Another Travel Tuesday post comes in at #9, “Industry Leaders Show Why Guests’ Changing Behaviors Matter.”
  10. Finally, this look at “How to Reach Top Decision Makers in 5 Minutes” closes out your top 10 favorite e-commerce and digital marketing posts for June.

You also might want to check out last month’s round-up, “10 Things You’ve Got to Know Now: The Top 10 Digital Marketing and E-commerce Posts in May.” As ever, I reserve the main spots for original content, so it’s not included in the main list despite its popularity, (it actually represented the fourth most popular post overall). And you might want to check out April’s list, too, if you have a moment.

Interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

Given the popularity of the Travel Tuesday series, you may also want to review the tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. Again, it was built for a travel audience, but its lessons apply across industries. The full deck is here:

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

By

June 25, 2014

Surprising Facts: Mobile & E-commerce Round-up – Thinks Out Loud Episode 78

June 25, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mobile e-commerce tips

Surprising Facts: Mobile & E-commerce Round-up Headlines and Show Notes

You might also enjoy this look at what your customers expect from e-commerce in 2014 and my slides from the “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing” talk I gave recently:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 35s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

By

June 25, 2014

The Little-Known Factor That Will Kill Your Hotel Marketing (Travel Tuesday)

June 25, 2014 | By | No Comments

Millennial woman traveler on mobileWant to know what’s going to kill your hotel marketing in the future? Even better, want to know what’s going to kill your hotel marketing today? Believe it or not, it’s the same thing. It’s ignoring the reality of today’s traveler. In all likelihood, your customer isn’t who you think it is.

First up, let’s look at research from MMGY Global (highlighted by Tnooz), showing that millennials will spend more on trips this year than Gen X, up almost 20% from last year:

“Roughly one out of four millennials are planning more overnight trips for leisure in 2014 compared with the previous year. But because 14% are planning fewer trips, the net positive difference is 10%… It works out to an average of $887 gain on a previous-year base of $4,499 — for a total of $5,386.”

It’s worth pointing out that millennials also outstrip Boomers in terms of sheer numbers (the total number of Boomers born was greater, but as the cohort has aged, sadly some are no longer with us). Millennials now represent the single biggest demographic and are either number 1 or a close number 2 in terms of overall travel spend (depending on whose numbers you use).

Secondly, according to Skift, “…nearly a third” of millennial travelers “…used their smartphones for travel-related purposes in March of this year.” Which would be great, if only more travel companies focused attention on their mobile offering. But, as Hotel Marketing notes in their coverage of a recent Boston Consulting Group/Facebook report:

“…although it was one of the first industries to be disrupted by digital commerce, travel and tourism has been slow to embrace the opportunities offered by mobile technology.”

The Hotel Marketing article suggests this prescriptive:

“…the biggest opportunity for travel companies is to cement relationships with customers — especially a company’s best, high-value customers — by offering them truly personalized service and experience. Mobile apps generate information related to usage, searching, time of use, location of use, spending, preferences, friends and followers, and countless other kinds of data. The more a travel company engages customers through mobile devices, the more information it can synthesize to personalize messages and the in-app customer experience. This information can also be used to segment the company’s best customers on the basis of frequency of use and expenditure, among other criteria, including their current location, time of day, and status”

I’ve said for a while that if you own the data, you own the customer, which aligns closely with the BCG report. Who is doing a good job there? Not surprisingly, intermediaries generally, and 3/5ths of the AGFAM group specifically. Here’s what BCG has to say:

“The top three [in mobile apps] — Facebook, Google, and Apple — currently account for half of total app usage.”

Again, this isn’t tomorrow’s customer. This is happening, right now. Think about it. Who’s spending the most on travel? Millennials. Who’s using mobile the most to shop and buy travel? Millennials. Who’s going to be your customer both today and for the next couple of decades? Millennials. Which makes this the real question: Who’s helping millennials shop and buy travel using mobile? And why isn’t it you?

If you’re interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And, if you’re curious about other trends shaping travel marketing, take a look at my recent presentation, called, aptly enough, “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing”:

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

By

June 23, 2014

Wickedly Effective Laws for E-commerce Websites

June 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

Young couple using e-commerce website to buy onlineE-commerce is a tricky beast, encompassing a variety of disciplines and approaches for finding, engaging, and assisting customers with their purchase decisions. You’ve got to know at least a bit about search and social and marketing and merchandising and a whole host of other skills ranging from the top of the funnel to user experience design to post-conversion customer service. And that’s before dealing with all the changes wrought customers’ shifting behaviors towards tablets and mobile and wearables.

I often find it’s helpful to start small. Instead of trying to do everything at once, focus on a few, critical elements of your plan and then execute against those elements.

Where should you begin? What are those “few, critical elements?” Well, happily, that’s the topic of my latest Biznology post, “The 5 Laws of Effective E-Commerce Websites.” Among the elements I recommend:

  • Solve Your Customers’ Problems First. Your customers are busy people, with busy lives. It’s not that they don’t care about you; they’ve just got lots of other things to worry about. Help your customers accomplish their goals and they’ll help you reach yours.
  • Focus on Key Metrics. Your sales represent the lifeblood of your organization, generating cash-flow and profit to sustain and grow your operations. Metrics serve as the “pulse” of your business, helping you measure your company’s health and directing you towards the right remedies when things aren’t going as well. Develop a data-driven culture that helps you identify what is and isn’t working so you can keep your business healthy. Utlimately, analytics and data aren’t about web metrics; they’re about business metrics.
  • Improve Your Images. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” may be one of the oldest clichés around. It’s also true. Plenty of evidence exists to show you can measure what a picture’s worth in dollars as well as words. Customers rely on what they can see online at least as much as what they can read. Create clear, crisp, attractive imagery that highlights the benefits your customers will receive from your products and services to drive increased engagement and interest.

Of course, these three items are just the beginning. You can check out all 5 laws of effective e-commerce websites, as well as how you can apply them to your business over on Biznology

If you’re interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register here to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it was originally written with hotel and resort marketers in mind, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You may also want to review the tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. Again, though presented to a travel marketing audience, the talk covers many essential laws of e-commerce and digital marketing across industries:

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of how the social, local, mobile web continues to shape e-commerce and business generally, including: