Archive for April, 2011

How to Track Social Media with Google Analytics

Friday, April 8th, 2011

If you have a website, you’re probably already connected to social media sites and if you are not, you should be!! The next most important thing after having a social media presence is to track the success of that presence and to find out exactly what it is bringing you in terms of traffic and revenue. Claudia Bruemmer of Top Ten Wholesale teaches us what we need to know about tracking social media using Google Analytics in the following article.

Tracking Social Media Campaigns with Google Analytics

by Claudia Bruemmer

Now that social media is so popular, with sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube leading the way, many wholesalers and retailers are using social media marketing tactics to drive traffic and conversions resulting in a better ROI. But how many of you are tracking your results for effectiveness? If your site has been up for a while, you can use your Google Analytics (GA) data to identify key metrics to monitor your campaign for efficacy.

Your historical data can help you identify the best targets for your social media efforts. First, you need to identify key metrics to track in your social media campaigns. Then, set up benchmarks with custom reports. Lastly, you derive benchmarks for key metrics to be measured in your social media campaigns. You can later compare your social media campaign traffic and revenue to that received from other search marketing campaigns, directory listings, etc.

Identify Key Metrics. Select a time period when your site was generating a lot of revenue. This will serve as your base period to measure campaign results against. Then select some meaningful metrics that are relevant to your business success. For instance, if you select “number of site visits” and “revenue,” you can correlate the number of visits required to reach a specific daily revenue goal.

Set Benchmarks with Custom Reports. To set benchmarks, you can overlay chosen metric graphs in GA. Depending on the metrics previously selected (number of site visits and revenue), you can use the ‘Compare two metrics’ option in Google Analytics. When you select that option, GA allows you to overlay six basic metrics (visits, pageviews, pages/visit, avg. time on site, bounce rate and % new visits. Since you can’t overlay “visits” against “revenue,” you can create a custom report, which is easy to set up. In your custom report, you can add other dimensions if you wish (source, keyword, product, etc.).

Deriving Benchmarks for Site Visits and Revenue. Your Custom Report on Visits and Revenue can help you decide on the approximate daily revenue and number of visitors required to meet your future campaign goals based on your previous benchmark period. Let’s say your lowest revenue during that period was $200 a day with 65 visits. Google Analytics will show that dollar amount on a specific date with the number of visits to make that revenue. So you can establish $200 as your minimum acceptable daily revenue. Then look for a high figure on another date during the benchmark period. Say you made $450 on another specific date and had 90 visitors. This gives you the revenue and number of visits you want to achieve or exceed in your future social media campaign.

By looking at the stats during your benchmark period, you identified the maximum and minimum number of visitors that produced revenue highs and lows, allowing you to deduce that the number of visitors required to achieve specific revenue goals.

Low: 65 visitors – $200/day – lower end minimum acceptable revenue benchmark

High: 90 visitors – $450/day – higher end of revenue benchmark (number you would seek to achieve or exceed in social media campaign)

The above example was very simple. Wholesalers can conduct more complex analyses in Google Analytics or with GA apps that simplify the tasks. For instance, Unilyzer (http://www.unilyzer.com/) collects, stores, trends and presents web traffic from GA and stats from Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Digg. You can also enable fanpage tracking if you establish fanpage profiles in GA. Unilyzer compares metrics for traffic from social media channels to traffic from all sources (organic, paid search, etc.) and compares metrics for each social media network so you can determine where your best traffic is coming from and focus your efforts there for the best ROI. You can get a 7-day free trial without a credit card. Pricing is $7/month for Unilizer Lite, $24/month Unilizer Pro and $49/month Unilizer Premium.

A Philanthropic Resale Business – How Sunrise Enterprises Inc. Gives Back

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

APRIL 2011 CUSTOMER OF THE MONTH

Don Wright of Sunrise Enterprises, Inc.

In the last few years, coinciding with the launch of Sunrise Enterprises’ 3rd thrift store, Chief Financial Officer Don Wright reports that customers began to express demand for new and more varied items. To address these growing needs, the company to began sourcing merchandise from Via Trading in March of 2009. “This gave us the opportunity to offer our usual line of quality thrift goods but also new goods at reasonable prices,” say Wright.

Sunrise’s Shop & Save stores differentiate themselves from other stores of their kind for the community service they provide. Their clients are referred to them by local school districts and by Developmental Disabilities Services, a division of the state Department of Health.
COO Don Wright explains that “each of [the] stores is managed by Sunrise staff and supported by several handicapped individuals.” The stores provide these individuals with an opportunity to integrate into society that they may otherwise not have. Wright adds that “working in the stores gives the clients a heightened sense of personal accomplishment because they earn a paycheck based on their performance level. They know that at the end of the day their efforts have been instrumental in the success of the stores. Even those that work at a slow pace earn a paycheck and from that, gain a sense of personal success. Normal retail stores do not allow for this type of employee due to their production demands.”

Twenty years later, community donations still make up the largest majority of the goods they sell. To supplement their donations, the company sources merchandise from Via Trading. They purchase a variety of goods ranging from SRS tools to general merchandise, high end accessories and housewares, towel & bath accessories, seasonal merchandise,  domestics, televisions and hand tools. Wright explains that “general housewares such as kitchen appliances and tableware sell very well throughout the stores.”

Business-savvy buyers, they tailor their purchases to the season and to the demand of their customers. “Prior to Christmas we purchased a large shipment of inexpensive toys that sold very well as stocking stuffers. We recently purchased two loads of SRS products that sold as fast as we could put it on the shelves. ” Now isn’t that a statement every store owner would love to utter! His technique? “It’s about knowing your market. We try to offer a continual variety of merchandise to bring customers into the stores. Our customers don’t support very high end goods and we know that, so we focus on items we know will be more attractive to them – usually mixed loads with electronics, general merchandise and outdoor furniture or tools.”

To further provide their customer base with products at reasonable prices, Sunrise Enterprises source a combination of overstocks and customer returns. “We prefer overstocks,” says Wright, “because we can only perform basic testing on the customer returns and we do try to avoid sending defective goods to the stores.” Most of their best-selling items however, come from customer return loads due to the opportunities those goods present to be sold at a fraction of their original value.

Staying true to their core values and mission of providing employment, training and life skills to disabled individuals, much of the processing of the merchandise is done by their store employees. “We teach them how to follow direction and be productive,” advises Wright. They assist managers in organizing the products, merchandising them on the shelves and pricing them appropriately.  “Those that are more highly functioning are taught to use the cash register and support customers during checkout,” he adds.

While the business is both personally and professionally rewarding for its owners and managers, running a non-profit community-driven business presents its challenges. As the Chief Operations Officer, Don Wright is responsible for the divisions of Sunrise that generate 65% of their total revenue. They get the remaining 35% from state funding to support the clients they bring into their program. In the midst of budget deficits in virtually every state in America, the current Oregon state budget shortages jeopardize that 35%, which puts greater emphasis on operations to make up the difference. In the case of the retail stores, this means generating more revenue by bringing in more product and moving it at a faster rate. “Finding new business in a down economy is difficult,” says Wright, “but working with our clients and seeing the satisfaction they gain by being employed is the best part, and makes up for a lot of the hardships.”

To help alleviate operating costs and to support the nature of their philanthropic mission, the organization accepts financial donations through a new program called the Sunrise Charitable Fund. “We recently started this fund to help keep some clients in our program even if state funding for them is cut or eliminated,” says Wright.
The company’s priority is to continue providing vocational training and support for disabled individuals so they can gain some financial independence and personal growth.

Sunrise has a new website launching on April 8th, that includes information on how people can support Sunrise through community donations, financial donations or contributions to the Sunrise Charitable Fund.
Sunrise Enterprises currently operate four thrift stores in Douglas County and will be opening their 5th this summer.

Visit their website at http://www.sunriseenterprisesinc.com

Stop by their store locations in Oregon at:

2529 W. Harvard, Roseburg OR
1401 Hwy. 101S, Reedsport OR
126 SW Douglas, Winston OR
875 S. Main, Myrtle Creek OR