Scheduling PPC ads to run by time.

img-pay-per-click.jpgSavvy Internet retailer could make sure its ad runs in the late afternoon, when online shopping spikes but ad competition falls

From WSJ: Most online shopping happens on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and then in the late afternoon between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., largely at work, according to comScore Networks, a Chicago Internet market-research firm.

The highest percentage of dollars spent online during a typical weekday occurs between 11 a.m. and noon, followed by 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., comScore says. By far, consumers spend the fewest dollars online in the hours between midnight and 8 a.m.

Peter Fader, a marketing professor at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, says some advertisers start running ads at midnight and exhaust their daily preset ad budgets by midday. So a savvy Internet retailer could make sure its ad runs in the late afternoon, when online shopping spikes but ad competition falls

Complexity causes 50% of product returns.

Complexity causes 50% of product returns.

blockquote.gifHalf of all malfunctioning products returned to stores by consumers are in full working order, but customers can't figure out how to operate the devices. Product complaints and returns are often caused by poor design, but companies frequently dismiss them as "nuisance calls.

blockquote.gifThe average consumer in the United States will struggle for 20 minutes to get a device working, before giving up.

blockquote.gifMost of the flaws found their origin in the first phase of the design process.

This last one might be viewed as the most important. During the design of a system program or product, most of the problems with interface or use that are going to crop up are built into the system.

Woot and the power of limited inventory.

Limited supply + large demand = motivation.

For anyone who doesn't know woot.com, now's your chance. Woot is an online business that takes a single product of limited inventory, discounts it heavily, and releases it every day at midnight.  If the products good it sells out pdq so you have to be quick to the button. Steep & Cheap is backcountry.com's like-concept but offers outdoor stuff.

I found out about Woot from Alan Young when he was working with the University Venture Fund. Allan told me that Woot was changing it's users sleeping patterns since they'd stay up 'till midnight to see what the next Woot was.

Of course it's the limited supply. Limited supply + large demand = motivation.

The problem many businesses have is that they don't really have limited supply, they have lots of supply. It's this factor of being able to offer unlimited supply that exerts a downward pressure on perceived value for internet companies. How much will people pay for email? Nada.

What can a business do to decrease the perceived supply of its offering? Depends. If you're direct competitors also have unlimited supply you're in trouble because your customers will switch. It's only if you're offering is unique enough that the opportunity cost is now perceived by the buyer to be lower with your offering.

It's the perceived value and opportunity cost that buyers use to make purchasing decisions. That's it. It would be really simple if all consumers used the same criteria to judge but they don't. There's slop in the decision making process since every individual use their own criteria. But that's also where the opportunity lies for any business.

Women purchasing shoes are using a very different standard of value and opportunity cost than men. (Way different in my wife's case.)

Woot proves the point. Changing the habits of customers is not easy, but if the perceived value of the offing is there it happens without a second thought. 


Niches more profitable than hits?