E-tail is a really interesting word. It means having a store on the internet. And it represents two completely different knowledge bases; the first having to do with everything from Search Engine Optimization to Pay-Per-Click advertising to Google Algorithms. Phrases like title tags, alt image and html 5.
The second knowledge base has a lot in common with normal brick and mortar stores, things like inventory management, product turns and marketing budget; although there are some new concepts like long tail and shopping cart abandonment to know about also.
What both etail and retail have in common though, is customers. How to find them and let them know you carry the products that they are looking for. Although to be honest with you, with etail it’s more like how to let them find you.
One of the main tools etailers have to do that with is called ‘keywords.’ Those are the words that you type into the search box on your computer, tablet or phone screen.
For The Pattycake Doll Company, most of the time that is pretty easy. If you’re an African American mom looking for a doll for your three year old, you would probably type in something like ‘black baby doll.’
If you just came home from the hospital with a newborn baby boy, you might look for a ‘boy doll’ for his older sister to play with.
But what do Black/White parents search for. Or Asian/Black. Or Hispanic/Asian?
I have two friends who are White women married to Black men and with girl children, so I just went and asked them. Surprisingly they both answered the same thing: “We’d look for dolls for ‘mixed kids.’ Okay!
But when I went to my online research tool for keywords, Google and Yahoo didn’t agree; the search volume for that phrase was almost non-existent. Some look for Biracial, some look for Mixed kids, some look for diversity dolls. But not as many as one might think considering that more than half of America’s children are ‘non-white!
It makes my life interesting.