A few months back one of our friends – a former business owner who has now cashed out and is “living the good life” – turned us on to a distributor of high quality cables for low prices. We take his word pretty highly since he’s hardcore into ultra high-end audio equipment. He told us that the quality of these cables are equal to the quality of Monster cables, but for 1/20th the price. So we picked a few up, liked them, and decided we wanted to carry the line on Tastefully Driven. With that, the Electronics Cables & Accessories store was born.
We carry things like iPod cables and headphones, HDMI cables ($15 for a 6 foot cable!), component video cables, USB cables, and Nintendo Wii component cables. These items are also the types of things that we can easily sell on eBay – a place where we want to have a presence but nothing else we carry really fits (some of our products are prohibited by the manufacturer from being sold, others – like personal care products – just won’t sell much based on our research).
While we’re on the topic of Tastefully Driven, my guess is that at least half of you are saying to yourselves “where are they going with this?” The direction of the site, of the business, is very defined in my mind but it definitely doesn’t look like it from the outside and I’ve probably done a bad job (or no job) of explaining it. I think from the outside it just looks like they’re just picking up random product lines left and right of things that interest them. While there’s some truth to that, here’s the overall big picture:
Our cart is very SEO friendly. Each page has a dynamically generated unique title tag, all of the text is indexible, each page is URL rewritten, we use proper formatting, etc. We know that on equal footing – most notably the number of links and the age of our domain – we can outrank the majority of the competition. So the reasoning by putting all of these loosely tied stores on one domain is to get all of those links pointing to ONE domain and not to many domains so that each product benefits from the success of the others. Think about how every page on Wikipedia ranks high. Now apply that same strategy to e-commerce, a place where most sites aren’t very SEO friendly.
Which is then where the Lifestyle Blog and our quest to get a team of writers comes in. Links directly to products are hard to come by. Links to great information, on the other hand, are relatively easy to come by. Create lots of great posts, get lots of links, help out every page on the entire domain. So this post about polyphasic sleep really does help us sell more shit drops even though the connection isn’t obvious.
So far it’s already worked for a few products. In time, it should work for all of them. Not saying this is a foolproof plan or that it couldn’t fail, but it’s the plan we’re going with.
If it works, we should end up with a pretty solid community on the forums/blog and then we can step everything up to the next level and become a “social shopping” site like we originally envisioned. For example, displaying ads on the forum/blog for our products based upon your conversations and your purchase history. If we ever get to this point, that’ll be where the fun really begins.