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“C” is for “Creative Catalogs”

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A lot have changed in the market over the years – a tough economy, rising prices of goods and customer’s need for high quality products have imposed new demands on businesses. Evidently, the need for helpful, reliable information has never been greater. Catalogs have always been a great source of product information. When people need to buy a product they refer to catalogs to guide them in finding the right product at the right price. But increasing sales does not necessitate creating the perfect catalog. A relatively small improvement in your catalog can already result in a proportionate increase in sales and profits.

So before you print your catalog, make a careful analysis of your old catalog. Pick out the flaws in it and try to improve it. Gather all the letters that you received from your customers and look through their criticisms, suggestions and comments. These may be a big help in designing a better catalog. And as you are designing your catalog think of your customers and the reasons why they would want to buy your product. Think of what they want and what they need and use this in creating a catalog that accomplishes your customer’s desires.

Thus, to create a striking catalog use color combinations that are attractive and pleasing to the eyes. You can use full color in the cover and two colors in the inside. Keep in mind that people respond better and remember longer good-looking catalogs so make your color choices carefully. Likewise, to attract new customers you can add new products and information to the products featured in your catalog. For instance, you can feature bizarre items, include exciting products or include unusual facts about specific items. You can also include information on how to use the product, maintain them and operate them. This information will help your customers significantly and as a result they would keep your catalog for future references. In addition, this would increase customer confidence to your company thereby increasing their inclination to buy.

If there are products in the old catalog that are unprofitable then perhaps you can promote them more strongly in your new catalog. But if it doesn’t really sell, them you can get rid of them or replace them with new items. You need not place them again in the catalog as they can be a nuisance there.

When you are ready to print your new catalog, make sure that you get the services of an experienced and knowledgeable printer with a reputation for quality and reliability. Your local print shop may be able to do the print job for you but there are also printers online that can do it for low prices, easy ordering and instant price quotes. It is up to you to determine which printing service to avail.

So give your business a distinctive personality and create catalogs that can be a special marketer in the minds of your prospects and customers.

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Finding The Perfect Christmas Gift For Her. Yes your other half!

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It’s that time of the year once again – there’s a chill in the air and a spring in your step. It’s Christmas once again! And while there is music, cheer, fun, and fervor everywhere you are probably pondering about finding that perfect Christmas gift for your special someone…

The wonderful cakes, trees bathed in bright lights, and Christmas carols and the Santa usher in a season of hope and joy, and it’s only right that you want to make sure that the special someone in your life loves her gift so much that she jumps with joy and gives you a huge hug as she peels off the wrapper from her present. Yes, there is nothing that quite beats the excitement of opening up presents that have been gifted with love and thought!

While most of us know what we want as a Christmas present, it’s never easy to find that perfect Christmas gift for our loved ones. Here on our website, we have several amazing gifts that will remind your beloved of you every time they see it. Here are some Christmas gift ideas for all you men who want to choose only the best gift for that special lady in your life – a gift that’s perfect for her!

A Bright Sparkle: Bijou
When Marlin Monroe sang “A diamond are a girl’s best friend” little would she have known that it would become a girl’s anthem! Every woman loves jewelry and if it’s given as a gift, the joy is doubled. If you can’t afford an expensive diamond jewelry piece don’t sweat it. You still have plenty of options from trinkets to baubles to silver jewelry and these won’t pinch your pocket either!

Scent of a woman: Perfume
Perfume… lilting fragrances that can add mystery, sensuality, or style to a woman’s personality. You really can’t go too wrong by gifting a perfume. Whether it’s a branded one or a French perfume, it’s bound to be a smash hit with your lady love.

Oh! But remember not to unwittingly pick up a perfume that smells more of an insect repellant than an enticing, pleasant fragrance. Seek advice of a lady friend to be safe!!!

Style for Her Feet: Shoes, shoes, shoes! 
Paris Hilton has a house full of them, and many other celebrities need a new one each day. Yes, we are talking about shoes. A woman can’t ever have enough shoes! Whether these are stilettos, platforms, wedge-heels, flats, slingbacks, boots, or heels, she’ll always want them all, and more.

So, if you want to gift your lady a gift she will remember forever, then shoes should be on the top of your gift options list. Buy her a pair of delicate, feminine shoes or just beautifully detailed; make sure they suit her personality.

A quick word of advice: buying shoes for someone other than yourself can be tricky, so make sure you buy a size that fits and check with the shop or online mall on their exchange policy and period.
It’s all in the Bag: Handy Handbags

A handbag doesn’t really go out of fashion. Women of all age groups and likes would gladly accept a fashionable and trendy handbag or clutch purse as a Christmas gift.

If your lady is young and individualistic then pick up a trendy, stylish clutch purse in leather or fabric. If the gift is for a teenager, a brightly colored tote or sequenced wallet may be a good bet. But if you’re shopping for a mature woman then you should buy a handbag in a larger size and a dark color (black, browns, and grays).

Trendy, Head Turning Eyewear
Branded or designer sunglasses rate high on the style quotient. There is a really wide range of eyewear to choose from. Sunglasses are both useful as well as fashionable and she’s bound to think of you every time she steps out into the sun!

You should try to find a shape that suits her face cut; oval frame for an angular face and squarish frame for a round shaped face. She’s bound to look like a fashionista when she wears them!

Time after Time: Watch
If your lady loves watches (like I do) then she’ll simply adore a stylish, sleek, watch. Not only does a watch make a great budget gift, it will also stay with her for longer and be useful. Just make sure you know what shape, color, and design she likes and freeze that moment in time when she kisses you for this fantastic gift!

Getting intimate: Sheer Lingerie
Big on attitude, comfort, and style sheer lingerie is the sexiest gift you can give her. Not only will she enjoy its feel against her body, but you can enjoy it as well. But sheer lingerie should only be gifted to your wife or partner, and not your crush!

Choose from slinky, ultra-feminine, cute, or just plain sexy…

Dressed as a Diva: Make-up

When picking up makeup or cosmetic item, remember to check the quality. Make-up makes a woman feel pretty, pampered, and prepared. Choose colors she usually wears, and pick assorted items such as kohl, eye shadow, lip gloss etc and have them wrapped in an attractive paper and tie it up with ribbons to make it more personal.

You can never, ever go wrong with…
Chocolates! Yes, it’s the thought that counts. So don’t sweat if you can afford the fancy jewelry items, perfume or clothes. Buy her a dozen of red roses, or a bunch of her favorite flower and pen down a romantic poem – your ode to her – and you can be sure this Christmas gift will stay etched in her memory for a lifetime.

Best of all…
You can Shop Amazon – Give the Gift of Amazon Prime

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The Two Most Important Factors In Ecommerce Design

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OK, so the title isn’t strictly true there is one important factor in ecommerce shopping cart design and two things you have to do achieve it. The goal is to make people purchase your product. The two things you have to do to make them buy is to help and persuade.

When you design a site you need to pay serious attention to it’s usability and it’s persuasive abilities. The aim of a good eCommerce solutions is to gently (or not so gently) persuade the sites user to purchase the product they want to make sure that they find this as easy as possible you need to make sure that your website is as usable as possible. There are thousands of usability and persuasive design methodologies and we don’t intend to cover them all in this article. We have identified a couple of the most important factors in both areas and given you some tips and guidance to help you tailor your shopping cart software to increase sales.

Usability Design

When a customer lands on your internet store they will only have a certain amount of patience, once this all runs out they will give up and leave your site for one of your competitors. The easier your site is to use and the less they have to think about how it works the longer they will stay on your site, and the more likely they will be to purchase from you.

With the increase in the use of CSS and the increasing accessibility of graphic manipulation packages people are able to completely customize the way the ‘things you click’ on their web-site look, the limit it pretty much their own imagination. Unfortunately this can lead to some confusion for users who have to think about what is clickable and what isn’t, this will cause them to get frustrated.

With text links it’s best to follow HTML tradition, keeping links in a contrasting colours and keep them underlined. Users also like to know where they have been, so keeping links that have been visited in another colour is good practice.

The best course of actions with buttons is to … well… make them look like buttons. I know it seems patronising but a lot of people forget this when they’ve spent a lot of time making sure the buttons on their site fit in with the design. Raised looking buttons are difficult to make look nice and clean without them looking a little ‘2001′ but it’s really worth spending a little time thinking about your buttons.

One of the easiest way to lose customers is to actually lose them. If you customers can’t find their way around your store, or can’t find their way to wherever they want to be they’re not going to buy from you.

What’s the best way to achieve this? Well it’s probably by using tabs. they give a good idea of where the user is, and how they can get to where they want to be.

Tag Lines are frequently dismissed from modern website design in order to make at design look less cluttered, and certainly there are situation where removing a tag line will do no harm but generally there are useful. It is important that a customer know as quickly as possible if your site will sell the product they are looking for. A good example of this is Amazon when they first launched they used a tag-line similar to ‘Online Bookstore’ because when customer landed on their page they would have had to think a little to work out that a company called Amazon was in fact an online book store. However as Amazon are now so well known they have removed it as it’s no longer needed.

Persuasive Design

Once you’ve addressed the Usability of your store and your visitors can find their way around your site easily and find their way to where they want to be, you must then consider the second important part of the design. You need to make then go to where YOU want them too, the order confirmation page. Below are 3 tips for making this happen.

Once the user has put some items into their cart and clicked on the checkout button there is a good chance that they really want to buy something. So whatever you do make it as easy as possible for them to put their credit card details in and click the order confirm button.

A design practice that we implement is removing all unnecessary links from the order process. For example all links to the ‘home’ and search boxes are removed. If the user goes searching for other products then it’s possible that they’ll get side tracked and forget that they were going to buy your products. But make sure that the user still has access to the information about the product that they’re buying, we try to implement this by including all the information on the shopping cart page, or by linking to pop-up with the info in, we don’t link back to the original product page as this could lead to further distractions.

Long checkout processes with multiple pages is also something that should be avoided. Only ask the customer for information that you really need.

One of the main ways that people will look for products on your site is by using the search box. Rigging (or Mapping) your searches will allows you to map products to keyword, so when a customer searches for a word related to a product that does not include the keywords in the title or the product text you can make sure the products show up. This is just like a customer asking a shop assistance for a product when they know what they want the product to do, but are just not sure of the name of the product.

You need to make your product descriptions and products images as descriptive as possible, don’t ever assume that your customers are as well versed on your products as you are. If there is something they want to know and you haven’t covered they will do one of three things:

  • Ask yourself, which happens a lot less than you would imagine.
  • Go and look on a competitor’s web-site, if they have the information then it’s likely you’ve lost a customer.
  • Give Up.

Also the more information that you include the more ’spider food’ there is got the search engines, writing the product descriptions is a good time to focus on Search Engine Optimization.

Following a couple of these simple guidelines you should see a marked increase in the conversion rate for your store. There are also many other usability and persuasive design models that you can apply and we defiantly recommend searching for some more to apply to your shopping cart.