>I have an online store which sells overstocks in
>Childrenswear. I have heard this is big in US, but I live in
>Australia, and online stores have not taken off as well here.
>I need advice on clever ideas to market the company and get
>new customers. I currently advertise in a Magazine for Mums
>of preschoolers (very expensive), and do letterbox drops.
>I would love to hear some new and clever ways to advertise
>this type of business.
Whereas it is important to advertise your website offline, ie drive traffic to the site. Your customers, chances are, are going to be online...
Some suggestions for web marketing...
Bulletin Boards and community groups, join boards where moms shop and talk about stuff that interests them, you should know about things that moms want to hear, like fire retardents in pyjamas and stuff like that. If the Moms know that you add value to their neighbourhood they're going to be more likely to want to see what it is that you do and shop from you, especially if your product is something they are interested in.
Blog, write about what people might be interested in knowing about children, children's clothes, toys, things that go with what your shop is offering. Treat it like an online magazine, if you will.
Optimize your website. Verify that people are finding your website via your keywords and that the keywords are effective. Find out why your existing visitors aren't buying and find out why the ones who are buying are doing so, find out where they came from and optimize that. DO NOT use what are known as Black Hat methods to advertise your site... by that I mean, blog-padding or anything that Google could downgrade your site for... you can get rules about such things from SEO experts (real ones not the ones who say they can make you number one on search engines but don't offer to do anything to your site to make that happen). Make sure that your site is user friendly and actually works. Test, test, test and retest your shopping card. Make sure it works!
Get other people to write about your shop in their blogs, their websites.
Cross-link with suitable websites that cross-link back.
Offer gift certificates to local fund-raisers, schools and churches.
Make sure your local newspapers know who you are and what you are up to at all times... Local newspapers love publishing articles about local people.
As for online stores not having taken off in Australia, I'm not sure that's true, but regardless, you should be aware that although it may seem that everyone and their dog in North America is buying and selling everything on the internet, they aren't really, the average website has a less than 1% conversion rate. If your rate is currently higher than that, you're rocking.
Good luck with it.
Tina Brooks, VP Marketing
Brooks Pepperfire Foods, Inc.
Makers of Peppermaster Hot Sauces
Eat more peppers!