Volusion – Exceptional, or Just Another Shopping Cart?

I’ve tried a lot of shopping carts!

Part of the reason I’ve tried so many is that I’ve never found one that I truly like. I won’t list them all … yet. Basically, if it’s free to a couple thousand dollars, I’ve tried it.

One of my clients was on Shopsite, a horrible shopping cart relic written in perl from the ancient past (1999). They were having a lot of problems with Shopsite. Even though Shopsite updates regularly, needed software like StoneEdge stopped working with it – even though they still officially are partners. I researched the clients needs and identified Volusion as a good match. There is a dashboard, easy to use interface, CRM, email capabilities, cart abandonment reports among others, and an API interface with Facebook, twitter, and YouTube integration. Seems like a nice system. Plus, Entrepreneur Magazine gave it a stellar review.

Sounds good right?

Here’s the reality:

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Marketing Campaigns Keep your Business Growing

Marketing Campaigns

Anyone can place an order for an ad, but only Entrepreneurs with their eye on the bottom line and Fortune 500 companies understand the value of a solid marketing plan.

The Fortune 500 have mountains of cash to throw around, so they can pound their offerings into your head and tell you that they sell “moments of pleasure” until you believe it, even if you don’t understand how drinking cola is a moment of pleasure more so than an ice cream cone or a sunrise.

Small and medium-sized business owners, on the other hand, need to be very smart with their marketing budgets. They need to focus on what is working and keep doing that until it doesn’t work anymore. [Read more…]

Why your Local Business Needs a Marketing Plan

While most businesses agree that a solid plan is crucial to success, so many fail to create a marketing plan.

Marketing plans are important for many reasons. most notably:

  • You understand how many leads you need to generate in order to meet your business goals.
  • You understand the costs associated with your marketing campaigns and tactics.
  • You have detailed goals that are organized by product, customer segment and/or distribution channel.
  • Your competitive advantage, position, and message are coordinated, thus extremely powerful.
  • You understand your sales process and the flow of business through your company.
  • You have a calendar of events with which, over time, you learn to estimate your cash flow.
  • It’s the instructions employees use to know how to implement the long-term goals of the company. [Read more…]