The importance of “ShareThis” in eCommerce

If you’re serious about selling on the web, then you must implement the “ShareThis” Widget. Grab some code here: Think: “send to a friend” on steroids.

Whatever ecommerce application you’re using, you must make sure to implement this at the product detail level. It’s almost pointless if you don’t. Make it easy for your users to share your goods and services. This will allow your site’s users to easily promote each and every product that they think is cool to their existing social network.

It’s simple, powerful and it’s FREE! So go make it happen.

Think Local :: Sell Global!™

Online Sales Thought for the Day: Think Product and Service First… Not Your Business!

Quick reality check: Are you really making sales online? Or is your website just sitting there and costing you money? If you really want to make money on the web, you have to change your business paradigm. No matter how great your company is… whether customer service, ideas, attitudes, you must put your products and services first.

What?!? I don’t get it!

Consumers who don’t already know your business are searching for what THEY want… Products and Services. Not your business. Get rid of your yellow pages mentality. (that’s soooooo ”90s) Of course you had better have phenomenal customer service and provide great products and services… but to get a consumer to actually find and complete the sale you had better put the latter in the forefront, first. Period.

Merchants are often the very barrier between a consumer buying or not. Consumers are smart, savvy and impatient. If you want to make sales online, embrace this fact. Give them what they want…make money, be happy. =)


The Cloud and Scalability

By David Naves

The essence of the cloud and cloud computing is the ability to increase capabilities and scale without increasing investment in entirely new infrastructure. This is also similar to the essence of online marketplaces. Small businesses can scale their virtual infrastructure and their sales exponentially by becoming a part of a marketplace within the cloud. Merchants can work together by helping each other and sharing information, cross-selling and up selling each other’s products and services. Some of this can be done industry-wide some of this can be done city-wide some can be done state-wide. But all of it in the end… global. This can effectively be accomplished within an online marketplace system via the cloud and cloud computing. Similar to cloud computing, merchants working with a marketplace system can scale their industries, their cities, and their sales by using each and every product and service as a refined baited hook, to create vast virtual networks. The only tools needed are computers, connections and open minds, ready for a paradigm shift. Merchants are bound by nothing nor limited by anything and can sell to any one anywhere in the world at any time of day or night.. The cloud truly is the great equalizer. It’s not necessarily in its infancy but certainly in its youth. The paradigm shift of breaking free of the confines of traditional business practices has to happen and must happen now. Small businesses, for example, represent the backbone of this nation’s economy and is the very backbone that will do the heavy lifting in terms of getting it back on its feet. But again, the paradigm shift has to happen quickly and businesses have to act collectively. Scalability is absolute and easy to accomplish if the cloud is embraced and implemented with proper diligence.

Scalability is truly the operative word here. The cloud offers enormous opportunities for scalability. Never before have businesses had the opportunity to scale as they do now. The Internet cloud if harnessed correctly, offers a boundaryless landscape. Let’s talk about boundaryless… no barriers to entry, no boundaries to new and existing customers, services and products And NO boundaries to true growth. Scalability is only limited by one’s desire. Ticketing businesses such as Ticketmaster have been able to scale their operations so vastly while at the same time cutting their costs enormously. During the good old days, massive call centers drove Ticketmaster’s business. A little-known fact was that most of the calls never resulted in the sale but simply higher costs because most callers just wanted information and not necessarily a ticket. But along came the great equalizer and the company was able to scale operations with the crew of 12 and transform call centers into a cloud of data generators. And data as we know is king. Simply put, those with the BEST data, win.

Smaller businesses can also benefit by embracing this great equalizer. Each and every day within the cloud brings with it new challenges as well as new opportunities. Cloud computing brings with it, immense power. The power to build new businesses the power to empower existing businesses and the power to scale. Businesses that act together can tap into this equalizer very affordably. Yes, working together within the cloud requires a ton of work, but it has teeth and if implemented correctly, with the right mindset, the sky is the limit. How? Plan your work and work your plan. It’s really a simple formula.

Cloud computing is simply a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in additional infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing additional software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends computing capabilities. Businesses must embrace this bleeding edge real-time business model if they are to compete in the current marketplace. Doing so can increase revenues beyond anything that’s ever been comprehended especially during these economic downturns. The cloud offers far more numbers than any local area radius currently marketed. The new mantra for the 21st century is Think Local:: Sell Global(tm)

There isn’t an industry out there that couldn’t benefit from the scalability of the cloud… especially if implemented within the parameters of an online marketplace. But again, the paradigm must shift from business first, products and services second… and trying to compete alone in the vast Cloud. There is strength in numbers we must all work together to pool resources and create a much bigger pie. Merchants must learn to step out of the way of the sale and let the transactions happen organically. Consumers want what they want and they want it immediately. Scalability really is a key factor in the consumer experience. If the product or service doesn’t exist for them (because of a lack of scale), they simply move on. All of us as web users have the attention spans of gnats. The great e-tailers embrace this and use it as a competitive advantage when providing their services and products on the web.

So use this information wisely. Think about the advantages the cloud provides,the advantages of cloud computing, the advantages of online marketplace… think about all of it. Think about the future.

Think Local:: Sell Global! And stay thirsty my friends…

Social Networking Has Teeth

By Steve Koss

Social networking can be defined as services focused on building online communities of people who share interests, activities or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Think “Six Degrees of Separation” which is based on the idea that any two people can be connected through a chain of five or less intermediaries.

Social networking allows for public awareness with an audience that is there waiting for you  It’s absolutely critical if you have products or services and want to connect to your market, you need to be where that conversation is happening. And the rise of social media means that those venues continue to evolve. Remember that it does not replace traditional marketing, but a very effective and affordable tool in the strategic tool kit.

The ROI is HUGE! Some businesses are reporting increases in sales by over 150% within the span of a few months after implementing social media programs. Social media provides the low risk/high return risk management factor for competitive advantage when a social media program is aligned with the business strategy.

The social networking big four:

Facebook, now 250 million users strong, is a social networking website that was originally designed for college students, but is now open to anyone 13 years of age or older. Facebook users can create, customize and share their own profiles with photos, videos, and information about themselves.

Twitter this year’s growth alone is over 1500%. Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as “followers.”

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site founded in 2002 and launched in 2003 mainly used for professional networking. As of  2009, it had more than 40 million registered users, spanning 170 industries.

Blog (short for “weblog”) is a type of website, maintained by groups or individuals with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Social media requires a strategic roadmap. The components of a social media strategy to put the puzzle together include defining your playing field:

  1. Audience
  2. Objectives
  3. Strategy
  4. Tactics/Tools
  5. Metrics

Imagining creates reality as a social media visionary landscaper to ride the changing whitewaters of business. To gain the ROI teeth following a five step process can provide the strategic stretching for steering on the social networking road. The five steps are:

  1. Put your strategy into a written plan or pictorial.
  2. Establish your social media presence.
  3. Expand your audience reach.
  4. Build relationships.
  5. Properly maintain your presence in your social networking consistently and in alignment with your business strategy.

Social media opens up a range of opportunities to leverage the power of word-of-mouth that is only limited by your imagination.

How To Take the NFL Game Into the Boardroom

We have seen an influx of articles, blogs touching on innovation, scenario planning, social media, sustainability, and the triple bottom line by leading publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and Facility Manager Magazine. The common theme comes down to one question – “What is our strategic roadmap to score touchdowns (desired states)?”

Visualize a stadium, the offense and defense players on the field with conflicting strategies. Nothing happens if you do not have a game plan. Disruptive ideas or technology can make us into skeptics or breed fear. Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, one of the disruptive forces who made the NFL what it is today had a simplistic mantra: “Pride and Poise” for the business and game strategies.

Let us look at how the game of football can help your projects and/or strategic initiatives score results.

Defense – Encountering where you want to go and how to get to the end zone with your strategic vision or problem statement. Pose those heresy/heretical questions for whole brain thinking.

Offense – Equip your people with the right tools. Seek the “opinion leaders” within your organization or venue to allow the team to become changemakers to move the ball (goals) down the field for results and significance.

Scoreboard – Empower the stakeholders through the “right” measurements for “correct action” and not corrective action. Never give up, the last two minutes of the game can be the most significant to pull the players together through persistence and the winning attitude.

Touchdown – It’s all about “execution” of the game plan. It might be the wildcat offense to disrupt the defensive players, who at first may be skeptics, but then must change to equalize the new game on the field. Utopia arrives when the players’ egos are removed…the team is functioning as a Mastermind group, a term coined by Napoleon Hill

One of the best examples of extraordinary strategy is the New England Patriots…breeding touchdowns on the scoreboard and within each player of trust, transparency, and shared goals. The team becomes systematic and critical thinkers for a priceless competitive advantage over the competition.

Its game time, take to the field with the attitude of “together we can make a world of a difference” – the touchdowns you score will be priceless.

Why Everything Search is Headed LOCAL… and the Importance of Online City-Based Marketplaces

Local Local Local!

What’s all the hubbub about local and the web? Why are so many searches going local? Simply put, many people are looking for products and services that are close to where they live and do business. Not only for ease of proximity but if they are ordering any products or services online they either want to go pick it up themselves or simply keep the shipping costs down. It’s really that simple. Huge online businesses have been spawned from this local search concept. Some of these include,,, and very specifically, The essence of these sites and their results are sound but none of them actually allow a fully transactional process, start to finish. This is exactly where things will be and should be going. City-based marketplace systems (exa: provides merchants within their specific cities to place their goods and services within highly search engine optimized e-commerce engines and allows the selling of them start to finish. This is really important in that many e-commerce buyers don’t have time nor the desire to pick up the phone and call that specific merchant to find out how to purchase, etc. etc. They want what they want and they want it now and if you don’t have it to offer they move on to somebody that does. So city-based marketplaces satisfies both needs… that of the local merchant and that of the local buyer. **And it doesn’t hurt that the city itself is automatically marketed along the way.**

The real trick here is Google. Google is for all intents and purposes in complete control of the merchants’ and shoppers’ destiny. There is definitely some competition, but for the most part, if people want to find anything they go to first. Which means merchants should do the same. (at least in terms of getting their products and services found)

The great news is online buyers becoming more web-savvy every day they use the search engines. They may start off with generic searches, perhaps looking for a category or a brand, but they also learn if they want refined results they have to refine their searches. And that’s exactly what the essence of city-based e-commerce marketplaces are all about. (refined search results and the ability to finish the transaction of these results) Smart e-tailers don’t start with the business first, they start at the product and service level first. Ecommerce is a very product-and-service-centric business. There must be a serious paradigm shift in the minds, hearts and souls of merchants all around the world if they want to th9ink about competing in the biggest game on the planet… E-COMMERCE!

The desire of most decent merchants is to provide quality products and service via great customer service for their consumers, but often times that means putting one’s self or their business in front of the customer first, thereby blocking or preventing that sale from occurring. Online… TRUE online sales, STARTS with that product and/or service and does not prevent in any way that potential buyer from getting exactly what they want . So what does that mean to a merchant who wants to sell their goods and services? That means start with your product or service, explain it from top to bottom… side to side and not leaving anything out. Great photos, videos, manuals should all be included. Don’t give that customer anywhere to go but the “Buy Now” button. Is it hard work? Absolutely! Is it time consuming? Yes! But it has teeth and it works! Sales is a numbers game and the web will ALWAYS offer significantly more, in terms of numbers. So take the time and give your customers the best possible web offering you can. Good marketplace systems will help you achieve this.

Search engines like Google must be able to understand exactly what that one specific product and/or service page is all about. And that means extreme search engine optimization. Most of the 24 million small business merchants in America, (with 99 employees or fewer) don’t understand what SEO is all about. Or if they do, they don’t know how to effectively or affordably get an ecommerce site there. And that’s where city-based marketplaces can come in and provide formidable, tools that allow them to enter their goods and services, expel their knowledge of these goods and services in a simple method. While in the background the SEO magically happens. And because the city-based model is wrapped around the SEO of each product and service, anyone doing a local search for that specific item is going to have a much easier time finding what they need. So it’s a win-win for everyone. Google loves the fact that there is a ton of great results for their users. (they care most about “relevant” search results)” And consumers will have a product or service actually available “for sale” online, instead of a reference to make a call or dig deeper to find one that is available for sale. And the merchant will have a simple, affordable method of selling their items WHILE marketing their city… ultimately bringing more customers into their physical locations. This is good for Small Business America! And Small Business America is the main force that will drive our economy back into the black.

Additionally, not only do city-based ecommerce marketplaces provide great local search results but in many cases, simply provide great results… period. Easily 95% of small businesses in America simply aren’t getting their products and services found on Google because it can be hard, expensive, and it’s embedded within and industry they don’t understand. Online city marketplaces dispel the myths of the expense, the effort and the technical knowledge required. If a merchant can hunt and peck some keys, take some pictures, double click their mice and follow some easy instruction, that’s about as technical as one needs to be to engage in effective e-commerce.

Local, city-based ecommerce marketplaces are committed to providing each and every small business in America the opportunity to use the web as the great equalizer. And it truly IS the great equalizer in the overall scheme of e-commerce. Put up a product, or a service in a quality city-based marketplace (like and you can run circles around Fortune 100 companies. Why? because they simply don’t have the know-how, the employees with the desire, nor the nimbleness that’s required to maintain great product and service database. And great data is king. Simply put… Those with the best data, win.

Dave Naves, Founder,

What exactly is and how is it different?

* Local-Marketplace.comis an easy to use, but very advanced Online City Marketplace that allows Local Merchants to sell their products and services collectively WHILE marketing YOUR CITY to the rest of the world!
* This Do-it-Yourself System delivers TREMENDOUS Search Engines Results to your products and services
* No need to have website of your own or be technical (very simple to use)
* This website will deliver NEW customers from around the globe “virtually” first, then ultimately to your stores
* Participating merchants will have a team of highly motivated web pros working hard in the background to optimize the products and services you insert into the system, so they are found in the search engines!
* We get paid when you get paid! (*after initial membership fee)
* Charitable events marketed and sold through will be processed and our commissions will be waived (after credit card fees and taxes)