New Design, Share & Sell Social Commerce Service (Beta)

Posted by Frank

I am excited to announce that we have launched a beta version of our new social commerce service, Share & Sell. This new, free service allows visitors to unleash their creativity to design and sell tshirts online on their own personal web spaces.

sellshirtsonline

Many of you have used our Online Designer. In fact in 2007 along over (355K) shirt designs have been created using the designer. The designs take many forms from uploaded computer graphics to photos to customized designs using our library of thousands of free t-shirt design templates, TshirtDesignTemplates.com.

To take advantage of our Share & SellTM service and to sell tshirts online, customers need only create a design, register as an account and then use our template driven Widgets (self-contained sell applications) or Swickis (social media widgets) to transform shirt designs instantly into an online shop.

Our Share & SellTM service has zero costs and zero inventory investment. Set-up is fast and we manage every aspect including shop building, hosting, order management, fulfillment, secure payment processing, and customer service. It is a great way for websites to monetize their traffic. Our affiliates will earn 15% commissions for each sale coming in through their Widget. They need only to share and promote their shop to friends and visitors on their site.

The forces of Mass Personalization, Social Media and User-Generated Commerce are colliding and we are hoping this program generates viral and syndication buzz in the social communities. To learn more about our Share & SellTM service and sell shirts and sell tshirts online: SellSportswear.com

Colliding Trends: Social Media and User-Generated Commerce

Posted by Frank

My apologies for not posting to my Blog for awhile. Two things have kept me quite occupied. First, we are having a banner year in 2007 and managing a growing small business is full of challenges. I am humbled by the support of our customers and grateful to our employees for working so hard this year.

Perhaps the biggest challenge we face as a company is to continue to innovate and stay competitive on the internet which evolves at such a dizzying pace. It is truly an “Eat or be eaten market.”

I once heard that when the rate of change in a market exceeds the rate of change inside your company then you have lost your edge. Well I can promise you we will not be complacent. We are conditioned to eat change as a part of our daily diet here at LogoSportswear.

The second reason why I have been away from this blog is that we have been hard at work changing our websites and marketing in order to leverage the new social media and networking opportunities that are taking over the internet like wildfire.

What are we doing? Learning lots about Social Media and User-Generated Commerce. We have been hard at work developing online tools and platforms for customers and visitors to share designs, opinions and experiences. Our new customer review and feedback surveys are being read by all our employees so that they stay conscious about what their part is to ensure our ultimate goal of providing a quality product that exceeds expectations.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon we will announce a new service that captures the merging trends of Social Media and User-Generated Commerce. Please stay tuned………….

The Most Significant eCommerce Developments Over The Last Decade

Posted by Frank

The Software & Information Industry Association unveiled its top-ten most significant e-commerce developments of the decade. It should be no great surprise that Google properties made up three of the top 10.

Thankfully these developments have helped our company and other companies across the internet to grow. Of particular importance to us is number eight, User-Generated Content. Flickr, YouTube, and yes even us offer a new form of collaborative production that has revolutionized markets.

This “Customer-Made” trend can be seen our LogoSportswear.com home page. Since the advent of our Online Designers, our customers have created well over 100,000 designs–the most recent of which are now featured regularly on our home page.

SIIA Press Release

1. . Google (Sept. 1998): Google did more to fundamentally change the way we use the Internet than any other event in the last 10 years. The simple search engine that began with a couple of smart guys is now used by 30% of Internet users to help find precisely what we’re looking for online, map our world, create simple yet highly targeted advertisements and much more. Americans conducted 6.9 billion searches online in February 2007 and nearly half of those were on Google

2. Broadband Penetration of US Internet Users Reaches 50% (June 2004): When the Information Superhighway first opened, it felt more like an old dirt road – until broadband released its full potential. Available and affordable broadband took longer than expected to arrive – but when it finally reached 50% penetration in 2004, a milestone was reached that signaled a dramatic change in how commerce gets done online, how consumers use and share content, and how the world communicates. It took broadband roughly 4 years to reach 50% – but it is estimated that it will reach 90% penetration of Internet users by the end of the year.

3. eBay Auctions (Launched Sept. 1997): eBay showed us that the Internet could be used to reach massive national — and even global — markets better and faster than ever before. The launch empowered hundreds of thousands of power sellers to quit their day jobs and work exclusively online. Individuals could also compete directly with each other in ways unimaginable in a physical market.

4. Amazon.com (IPO May 1997): Amazon showed the world what an online store would look like and made online shopping popular through its ease of use and wide selection. Amazon’s public offering told the world that online commerce is legitimate and here to stay. It signaled the increasingly important role that e-commerce would play in the American economy.

5. Google Ad Words (2000) Key word advertising has become the biggest online advertising vehicle, representing 40 percent of that market and $6.8 billion in revenue. Keyword ads are the simplest and most cost-effective mechanism to reach targeted audiences, affordable to even the smallest business.

6. Open Standards (HTML 4.0 released – 1997): The standards for the web embodied in HTML are overseen by the World Wide Web Consortium, which is not controlled by any company or government. The formats are open, well documented and designed to work with different software and hardware. It has probably been the most influential and important data standard in the history of publishing. Open standards can grow an entire industry, leaving more room and more opportunity for everyone.

7. Wi-Fi (802.11 launched – 1997): From desk to board room to beach, connectivity is never lost and communication is never delayed. The development of Wi-Fi removed the limitations of desktops and cables and shifted focus toward mobile solutions. Wireless Internet enabled road warriors to be connected anywhere in industries like real estate, transportation, travel, and financial services.

8. User-Generated Content (YouTube 2005): Right now it is impossible to say what the full ramifications of the “citizen journalist” era will be – but the dramatic impact of YouTube tells us more than any other recent development. At first a playground for kids with video cameras, YouTube is now the embodiment of Web 2.0. It is a must-be-seen place for presidential candidates, a battleground in the copyright wars, a vital distribution point for major media – and most of all, a place where anyone…absolutely anyone…can deliver a message to the world.

9. iTunes (2001): In the aftermath of Napster and the P2P battles, iTunes legitimized the digital music industry, revolutionizing the music industry. The importance of CDs declined while music as digital content grew, leading to developments in everything from Digital Rights Management software to increased bandwidth use. Today, more than US$2 billion worth of music was sold online or through mobile phones in 2006 (trade revenues), almost doubling the market in the last year. Digital sales now account for around 10% of the music market

10. BlackBerry (1999): The BlackBerry makes communication instantaneous, and mobile. A comprehensive communications device creates a new mobile business culture. Giving road warriors the freedom to move to any location and maintain connectivity increases cooperation and efficiency. By having the web in the palm of your hand, Internet connected devices enable ecommerce anywhere, anytime.

Good Domain Names Grow In Importance

Posted by Frank

Even if you did not get in on the ground floor during the early domain gold rush, there are still many opportunities to secure good domain names. What makes for a good domain? Look for natural generic brand, easy to remember, clear, concise, and descriptive domains. And the consensus is that .com suffixes are by far the most important.

In addition to branding and “nichendising” opportunities, good domains offer “type-in” traffic that occurs when browsers type in a domain name and directly navigate to your websites. It is estimated that 15% of all traffic comes from typed-in domain names. And studies have shown that surfers who type in a domain into a browser are more likely to make a purchase than other paths.

The domain industry has evolved into big business. Many good domains have been taken up by speculators who are willing to sell them to you for the right price. For information on purchasing these domains you can visit BuyDomains.com.

Another resource is dnScoop.com, which is a free resource offering information on any domain like age, inbound links, Alexa traffic rank, and the Google PageRank. It even has an interesting appraisal feature that you can try either on your own domains or domains you may be considering for purchase.

As pioneer on the internet, LogoSportswear.com was fortunate to have recognized early the value of simple, descriptive and industry-specific domain names.

We now have a stable of over (100) domain names that includes CustomSportswear.com, LogoSportswear.com, Teamsportswear.com, SchoolSportswear.com, TeamSpiritwear.com, PersonalizeProducts.com, CustomShirtsFast.com, and the list goes on.

Of course we know that while domains will help us with MicroSites or type in traffic, conversion and customer loyalty will only come from great site usability, merchandising, and customer service.

Our Focus On Customer Experience (And Your Satisfaction)

Posted by Frank

Like many e-commerce companies, we believed that generating more traffic to our websites should be our most important priority. After all, higher traffic will ensure for new customers and higher sales, right?

Not necessarily. We have come to realize that while traffic is important, converting traffic into long-term customer relationships is more important. The internet is a wonderful tool and the user is in complete control. If websites do not offer a good experience then customers won’t come back.

Our team at LogoSportswear has spent the last few months studying the user experience. We have found that improving the user experience takes a blend of art and science and is more evolutionary than revolutionary. I am happy to say that our efforts have resulted in hundreds of small improvements that we think will make a BIG difference to our customer experience.

We have re-designed our site, including our home page, added new merchandise and we offer regular sales promotions for site stickiness. One example is a new, every day promotion offering FREE custom logo embroidery set-up FREE. (a $95. value), when customers purchase just (6) of any style garment. We decided we are willing to invest on the first sale to gain a satisfied customer for life!

We have also introduced new Online Design Software that offers customers the ability to design, proof and order team uniforms, printed and embroidered products online.

Our new Online Embroidery Design technology is a the first to be introduced in our industry! Once you choose an item you wish to have embroidered, you can either upload your custom logo, choose fembroidery clipart and enter text information in whatever font and thread color choices you wish. Our software will dynamically create a visual of the embroidery design to review and proof. Try it, you will like it, it is an incredible tool!

Sample of Embroidery Design Tool

We are getting great results from our initiatives. Customer satisfaction is up and sales and conversions through our shopping cart has tripled in first six months of this year. If you haven’t formulated a customer experience initiative for your internet company, I highly recommend that you do it now.

We know that our our customer experience initiative will never end as there is no end to continuous improvement. Most importantly though is our pledge to listen to our customers. If you have any suggestions please let me know. We would love to put your suggestion to work for you.

Frankn@LogoSportswear.com

Search Is Still Growing Strong

Posted by Frank

At almost every marketing conference I have attended this past year, I hear some variation of the same question, “Will internet search soon peak?” Eight months ago I was wrote that internet search was poised for lots of growth. Is search still growing? The answer is a resounding yes, search is still growing strong!

Does anyone NOT google once a day, or even once an hour? According to Internet media research company Nielsen//NetRatings, searches on Google and Yahoo! in March grew 41% and 47%, respectively, compared with the year-earlier period. The total number of searches in the U.S. conducted across 60 search engines grew 55% to 5.10 billion in December 2005, compared with 3.30 billion in December 2004. The average web user is now conducting almost 50 searches a month, up 30% from 33.2 searches a year ago.

Search usage in increasing, in part because of broadband penetration and, in part because of the growth of image searches. Searches initiated specifically for images, photos and graphics is exploding. Among search verticals, image search experienced the strongest year-over-year growth at 91%. Google accounted for 71.9% of image search, followed by Yahoo (19.1%), Ask.com (3.5%). MSN (2.3%) and AOL (1.4%).

Fortunately our company’s web traffic has grown even faster than search. And more and more of our pages are showing up for image and photo searches.

If you are marketing a product on the web and want to be a leader in your field, you NEED to rank high on search engines. The importance of top rankings is important beyond traffic referrals. Brand equity is conveyed upon companies at the top of search rankings. According to a 2006 study conducted by Jupiter Research, 36% of search engine users believe that companies listed at the top of results are the top brands or “industry leaders” in their fields.

Our customers already regard LogoSportswear.com and TeamSportswear.com as industry leaders. Our high search rankings offer our employees an incredible opportunity to prove to new customers, each and every day, that our products and services are the best in the business.

Miss The Internet Boom? The Next Wave Is Coming.

Posted by Frank

Maybe you should have seen the internet coming sooner. However, that is even more reason for you to get off the sidelines and into the game.
The internet will prove to be the distribution channel of the decade. We still have the next five years to leverage it.

Consider these recent internet stats:

· Broadband has reached critical mass (41 percent of US online households in 2005, expected to reach 50% by 2011). Consumers with
broadband use the Internet an average of 17.3 hours per week, compared to 10.6 hours for those with dial-up connections. The greater time
spent online correlates to more online searching, shopping and purchasing.

· Search engine use continues to grow. Whoever said that we would reach a finite number of searches hasn’t seen that the total number of
searches in the U.S. conducted across 60 search engines grew 55% to 5.10 billion in December 2005, compared with 3.30 billion in December
2004 (Nielsen//NetRatings’ MegaView Search). The top three search engines experienced double-digit growth year over year. Google
Search grew 75% to 2.50 billion searches. Yahoo! Search grew 53% to 1.10 billion searches, and MSN Search increased 20% to 553.0 million.

· Online internet spending for 2005 gained 22 percent over 2004 spending according to comScore Networks. Apparel and accessories was one
of the fastest-growing categories, with a 36 percent gain over 2004 totals.

- According to Jupiter’s “U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2005 to 2010,” the Internet will influence nearly half of total retail sales in 2010,
compared to just 27% in 2005. This projection combines total sales transacted online with those carried out off line but encouraged by online
research.

What to do to participate in the next wave of growth. First, make the internet the CENTRAL focus on your sales and marketing plan. It if isn’t, then re-write your plan this month.

Next, create a seamless, multi-channel marketing plan that enables customers to buy online, through direct mail and catalogs and through your sales force. Give customers options and let your them use the channel that is most convenient to them.

A key to growth through the end of this decade will be shifting emphasis from obtaining new customers on the internet to increasing the spending of existing buyers through customer friendly, web-enabled tools. Think hard about your customer’s experience and find new, innovative ways to please them.

The internet and catalog distribution channels, though relatively small now, represent the fastest-growing segments of retail. Make sure you focus on these channels. A good start would be to attend The Largest Conference for Catalog, Internet & Multichannel Merchants, held in Chicago this coming May.

http://www.catalogconference.com/

Show Your True Colors

Posted by Frank

Ever notice that more and more companies are beginning to show their logos in living color? Full color logos offer maximum impact. According to Marketing Insights, color increases visibility and recall by up to 40%. Consider what Google’s logo would look like in one-color? Their unqiue, full color logo has helped the search engine giant to become the fastest growing company of all time.

It used to be too expensive to reproduce full color logos on letterhead, biz cards, t-shirts, banners and promotional products. That was then, and this is now. Digital printing technology has spawned cost effective ways to print full color logos and designs or photos that can be created digitally on a computer or a camera. If you look around you will no doubt notice more and more marketing collateral and products all around you.

The window of opportunity has openened for you to consider printing your logo in living color. Digital printers provide great color resolution at a very low price. I can assure you that my company is jumping on the full color bandwagon in a big way. We have recently updated our own logos to full color and will over the next month expand our full color product offerings. We are looking to re-invent our name, logo, products and BRAND into living, breathing, high impact full color!

We would like to use our experience to help you re-invent your corporate identity as well. We have invested in the very first direct-to-garment digital printers, full color printer/cutters and multi-head embroidery equipment. This equpment offers an array of full color products that will make your company stand out from your competitors. And our best asset, our graphics design team, can help you design a special high impact, full color design for your t-shirt or product..

A blog about color would not be complete without a color sportswear forecast for 2006. This Spring, look for COLOR to saturate the market with a range of hues that go from bright and sporty, to more subdued and sophisticated. Color brings excitement to both women’s wear and menswear in casual weekend knits and jackets, as well as office appropriate wovens and ties. Look for green-casted blues and blue-casted greens to dominate along with all shades of orange ranging from light coral to burnt orange.The palette is rounded out with cool resort colors of yellow, purple and green.


Full Color and Photo T-shirts

Digital Totes

Full Color Banners and Signs

Photo Golf Balls & Full Color Gifts

“Where An Educated Consumer is Your Best Customer.” Publishing Web Content.

Posted by Frank

The best offline merchants have that special knack for selecting the right product or service, at the right time, for the right price. Of course, this talent is needed for successful online sites as well.

Unlike offline though, the web offers the chance to gain a competitive edge in building customer relationships through the distribution of valuable web content. How do you produce valuable web content? First, you must train yourself to think like a publisher. Look to create content that educates customers about your markets, products and services or create an experience that just makes the whole buying process simple and a whole lot more convenient.

In our business, product, service and content are all considered equally important. We believe in Sy Sims’ ad campaign, “An Educated Consumer is Our Best Customer.” We want our web site visitors to consider us as a trusted resource for all three considerations.

Unique and valuable content is not just communicating through a blog. For us it is about offering “Smart Tips and Tools” to help our customers. This content helps move a new prospect down the sales buying funnel. For instance, we supply content in the early stages of the buying process that helps potential buyers with some of the typical problems that our buyers face.

Content on our LogoSportswear.com site offers tools like pricing calculators and clipart libraries that can be searched by keyphrase. We offer educational articles about our products and services and tips to make an event successful such as running a golf tournament for a fundraiser. Content on our TeamSportswear.com site helps prospects with the variables of ordering team uniforms by offering a “Nine Step Guide To Ordering Team Sports Uniforms.”

And recently we have created T-shirt and Uniform Design Templates that allow our customers to drop in their organization or team name into hundreds of our best, time tested designs. They pay neither set up charges or graphic arts charges for these templates.

We work hard to make sure our employees and salespeople know about this content so they will offer our customers links to it when the need arises. I am hopeful too that some may begin to think like publishers and add to our growing library of new and fresh content.

Custom Design Tshirt Templates
Logo T-shirt Designs

Sports Designs

School Designs

Mascot Designs

The Future of Search, The Next Killer App

Posted by Frank

I get super excited about the opportunities presented by the internet. The browser and email were the internet’s first killer apps. All of us has seen our business change as a result.

Many of my friends though think I overstate the importance of Search. Trust me, internet Search is ubiquitous, ever changing, and incredibly powerful. And there’s lots more of innovation to come.

Time magazine brings Search into the mainstream with a recently published article discussing the future of Search. Here are some new of the highlights.

PICTURE AND VIDEO

Now that still and moving images are increasingly digitized, pictures and videos will be searched with a click.

CELL PHONES

Mobile search is mostly done today with limited text messaging, but by 2008, when more than 75% of new cell phones globally are expected to be Internet-ready, searching the Web on the go will be standard.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Search engines are good at matching words across websites but have struggled with nuance to answer questions in everyday language. This will soon change.

AUDIO

New audio tracks of videos and turn them into searchable text–making any recorded spoken words immediately searchable.

SATELLITE

Online maps are widely available but now, because pictures are easier to understand than maps, satellites are changing the game.

PERSONALIZED

One of the hottest and most controversial new areas is designing software that will get to know individuals’ interests, mostly through their search history–the clickstream.

To read the full text of the article go to:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1098955,00.html

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