Category Archives: Uncategorized

Should I start an e-commerce website?

No, you shouldn’t start an e-commerce website.

Still want to huh?

To help you decide whether you have what it takes I have put together this list of 10 questions you should ask yourself, to help point you in the right direction.

10 questions e-commerce webmasters should ask themselves:

  1. Are you cheaper than Amazon et al?
  2. Do you have at least 2 full time members of staff to run the website?
  3. Do you use the internet to buy things?
  4. Do you have any knowledge / experience of running a website?
  5. Do you think a site that doesn’t rank number one in Google can still be a success?
  6. Do you stock products that people can’t buy anywhere else?
  7. If yes to previous question – do people actually want to buy the products you exclusively stock?
  8. Are you cheaper than Amazon et al?
  9. Do you know what a USP is?
  10. Are you cheaper than Amazon et al?

If you answered no to any of these questions don’t start an e-commerce website.

Best of luck in the future.

Unique Selling Puff

In my work as an online marketer I get to hear a lot about businesses.

One of the most common topics of conversation is the ‘USP’ (unique selling proposition / point).

There are two key things here:

  • Proposition is singular, not plural
  • Unique – not the same as anyone else

Yet every time we leave a meeting, the client has provided us with a long list of ridiculous things.

One tourism client I met recently had about 20 ‘USPs’.

One of them was; “beautiful location”.

Unless my client owns paradise I am pretty confident this is inaccurate.

I can forgive the client for not understanding the concept of what a unique selling proposition is but I certainly cannot forgive my colleague who diligently notes down this drivel.

The result of all of this puffery is that we end up with a project brief that weighs in like a novel and contains more waffle than a Dutch bakery.

I recently wrote about the common problems encountered with a project brief and how a ‘binary’ approach should be taken to make it more actionable.

A good place to start using ‘binary’ is with your USP.

One USP we are trying to push with this project.

One clear brief.

One happy team that understands the big picture.

“TV advertising used to work like this: you sat on your sofa while creatives were paid to throw a bucket of shit in your face. Today you’re expected to sit on the bucket, fill it with your own shit, and tip it over your head while filming yourself on your mobile.” – Charlie Brooker, The Guardian, 05.09.12

I have recently been talking about the need for process and clarity in all forms of work and communication. Nothing stifles creativity like something complex. That is why this spreadsheet is a work of art. Not only is it a great piece of work for link builders, it also displays how lots of information can be categorised to make it easier to present and digest.

Link to link building spreadsheet.