Laughing Cat Studios - Web Design and eCommerce

Category — Birmingham, AL

Get Social Media Benefits without Tweeting

So you have been meaning to put more time into your social media marketing efforts.  You intended to tweet regularly and work on that Facebook contest for your Facebook fans.   But you realize that although social media is “free”, it does require a substantial amount of time to plan and implement for a return on your time investment.  Time resources in a small business are just as valuable and as scarce as financial resources.

Services like Living Social and Groupon provide a way to tap into the Social Media audience without a repetitious time commitment and with potentially a great return on your financial investment.  In addition, there are no up front out of pocket costs.

GrouponHere’s a look at how Groupon works:

  1. You collaborate with Groupon to provide a deal that is impossible to say NO to, for their customer base. (i.e. At least 50% off).  This deal is a coupon that must be purchased by the customer.  (i.e.  $25 coupon that yields the customer a $50 value)  Groupon requires the deal to be aggressive.  This may require a low margin strategy in lieu of new customers, business recognition and foot traffic.  Consider this your marketing investment.
  2. Groupon creates an email ad for your place of business.  They create all the copy for the ad.
  3. Groupon provides support and education to plan and prepare for the increase in phone calls, foot traffic, etc.
  4. On a specific date, after they have contacted you, they feature your ad by emailing this ad to their subscriber base.  They only feature one ad per day. A redemption period is set as well.   Groupon claims their internet-savvy customers use tools like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word about your business beyond Groupon’s mailing list.  Groupon also provides mobile applications for their subscribers to download on their iPhone or Android.
  5. You can specify a minimum number of customers who must purchase the Groupon before “The Deal is On”.  Groupon takes a portion of each Groupon sold.  If the minimum number is not met, there are no out of pocket costs to your business.   You cannot, however, specify a maximum number.
  6. Groupon collects the money from the ad from their subscribers and mails you a check and a list of customers who purchased the Groupon.  Due to their privacy policy, they will not provide customer email addresses.  So make sure you ask the customer for their email address when redeeming the coupon!

Potential Benefits of Groupon:

  • Tapping into a potential new customer base of internet savvy, mobile users
  • Increase in foot traffic to your brick and mortar
  • Increase in Brand Recognition
  • Potential Word-of-Mouth Buzz
  • Minimum Financial Risk
  • Possible Repeat and Loyal Customer Base

The Negative Side?

  • Potentially selling a high volume of low margin coupons may require you to work for a period of time with slim margins.
  • A spike in the number of phone calls and foot traffic for a period of time can put your staff under stress.

Primary Demographics for Groupon Subscribers

  • Single
  • Female
  • Under age 35
  • Some level of Higher Education
  • Employed Full Time

So, if tweeting and maintaining your Facebook status are not for you, but you would still like to tap into the social media market, services like Living Social and Groupon may be the answer for you.

January 26, 2011   No Comments

Web Design in 2010

2009 was a year of adventure and the beginning of a journey for me and for Laughing Cat Studios. I am thrilled to have found my passion in designing and developing web sites for small businesses. I want to send a big thank you to all my clients of 2009 and say that it was a pleasure to work with each and every one of you.

We look forward to designing a few more ecommerce sites in 2010. In addition, we are excited to be designing a website for a new live music venue here in Birmingham Alabama.

Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous new year!

Valerie Latawiec, Owner
Laughing Cat Studios

January 11, 2010   No Comments

Selling on Amazon

When considering setting up an online store, one possibility to research is setting up services with well established sites with large current customer bases in order to increase visibility and establish trust with your customers.  Amazon has 81 million active customers.  Here are some of the details on setting up a site with Amazon.

Amazon charges $39.99 per month plus an 8% – 20% per transaction fee.  These charges include:

  • Website set up
  • Pay-per-click marketing fees that a retailer will incur in order to promote and drive traffic to an individual retail site
  • Commissions to referral partners
  • Credit Card Processing Fees

There is an application approval process with Amazon.  There are some restricted (closed) categories such as apparel, gourmet, jewelry, watches, beauty and personal computers.   Amazon currently has numerous retailers in these categories and therefore, as a rule, will not accept additional retailers in these areas. 

If you would like to view the complete video detailing this information, click the link below.

Selling on Amazon Best Practices – Worldwide Brands and Amazon Services

April 23, 2009   No Comments

Welcome to Laughing Cat Studios!

Welcome to Laughing Cat Studios! We are enjoying this venture of designing and developing websites for small businesses in the Birmingham Alabama area. In addition, we are willing to work with small businesses across the United States, providing they will work with us by telephone, internet, email and fax. When we contract with your small business, we view the deal as becoming part of your team. We guarantee client satisfaction 100% of the time.

Laughing Cat Studios offers domain name registration, website design, website development, website hosting, search engine optimization, and monthly website maintenance to ensure your site remains fresh.

If you own a small business and would like to sell your products online, Laughing Cat Studios will partner with your company to make it as pain-free and affordable as possible. Depending on inventory turnover, we will develop a schedule to periodically add new inventory to your website ensuring your current products are always available online.

We look forward to joining you on your business journey. Thanks for stopping by!

March 24, 2009   1 Comment