Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Whats in a name? Bonanza - Bonanzle - Bon-whatever

This a big day in Bonanza history.  Bonanza?  Don’t you mean Bonanzle?  Actually, no.  Today we changed our name!   Check out the new URL at www.bonanza.com and keep an eye out tomorrow morning for the press release on the newly designed site!
That is what I awoke to this morning and at 4am, no it was not a welcome sight. 

What does this mean for the average Joe? Not much, Little Joe might be able to remember the name better, but Bonanza -  Bonanzle - Bonanza  ... really folks, is it that much easier? But that is the logic behind this change:
Most of all I want to provide more sales for our fantastic selling community.  And a name that customers can remember and spell will help.
Not to meantion it makes it easier on the Sites owners family to remember it. :
 I want Bonanzle (wait, Bonanza – this is going to take a while) to be a household name.  Two years in and my grandparents still get the name of the company wrong

Now Bill does admit there are sites and products that fared well with strange names:
......sure other companies have done pretty well with less than everyday names (Google anyone?).  However, I believe that in a fragmented world, having a real word that is evocative of our brand is a big step toward our company becoming a household name.

But somehow still feels this is good.  Actually it seems like an easy way out of working a brand.  Even with a 'strange name' of Bonanzle, the site soared past others that started about the same time or have been around longer.  And some of them had more 'common' names - Atomic Mall , eCrater , Blujay, iOffer  just to name a few.  And it is the 'odd' named sites of www.Addoway.com  and www.BooCoo.com  that seem to be nipping at Bonanzle - Bonanza's heels.

Now, what does it mean for the Sellers?  A whole lot.  Changing names on cards, window decals, door magnets, etc.  Going to and trying to remember every place the Bonanzle url to their booth is posted and changeing it.  Sound simple, and yes it is a seemingly minor detail, but it can not only cost alot of time, but in many cases money as well.
Yes the old url of www.bonanzle.com will be redirected for some time to allow the full change.  But dont do a knee jerk at what page opens, for the look of the site is changing as well.  I must say the header is bland with little style, the flashing pictures take a long time to load on my poor dialup, and if I didnt sell on the site, I would look elsewhere for and item when shopping, not having 10 minutes to waste waiting for the front page to load. (one of the draw backs to Addoway and Atomic Mall too)  And yes, many are on dialup, so to ignore them is to ignore a good slice of the market.  Even eBay realized that and lightened their load.

Then there is the final announcement - which is really the one that will affect the small sellers the most, and the one they are most vague on:
Lastly, we have one more announcement.  We recently acquired 1000 Markets and are happy to welcome their merchants into the Bonanza family.  Many of you are likely familiar with their site already and may have items listed there.  They share a number of our values and know first-hand how hard it is to start a marketplace.  Please join me in welcoming them to the fold.  1000 Markets items will soon be listed on the site and their URL will redirect to our own. 

I am still looking into that one.  If they have 1000 new markets where some of us already have listings, will this case us to have items double, triple, etc listed on Bonanzle  - Bonanza - Now?  Who are these 'markets'?  Many sellers list on more than one marketplace, just so they can quickly move off a site in the event the changes of a site , traffic flow, sales, etc dont work for them.

Seems like that option is gone for some.

Welcome to the ranch ....

PS as I commented below:
Oh - I am sorry - I failed to post a link to the announcement ... it is :

Instead of sending out notices to THEIR customers - ie - SELLERS - they blog it and are planning a press release today ....


another great source for information on this is : AuctionBytes News   Ida clarifies the 1000 markets ... seems its a Artisian site simular to www.esty.com and www.artfire.com

Monday, September 20, 2010

Christopher Thomas adds rhythm to Bonanzle.com

Bonanzle's Band of Techies now has a drummer. Christopher Thomas, full time techie part time drummer joins the band as the official User Experience Designer.

He takes on the daunting task of making sure everyone, both buyer and sellers, experience is smooth as the swish of brushes on cymbals yet exciting as the drum solo in In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

Joining the Bonanzle Band was a big move for Christopher, a move that took him and his wife from eastern Pennsylvania to Seattle.

Of course we all welcome Christopher to the wild world of Bonanzle, and in his spare time I think he will find taking in the Seattle music scene to be a great way to recharge his tech side.
Find out more about Chris on the official Blog of Bonanzle

Sunday, September 19, 2010

PR - is it up to the marketplace or the seller?

AuctionBytes the powerhouse of news for online marketplaces and eCommerce sellers, recently posted Open Message to Alternative Marketplaces: Are You There?   addressing the importance of PR.  David Steiner, author, starts off by saying :
One of the most common emails and comments on our blogs that we receive is "Why don't you focus less on eBay and write more about alternative marketplaces?"
and, like, David's response the answer is simple:
EBay gets more ink on this site because they understand the power of public relations. aka PR .
What really gets me more that the fact that small marketplaces are failing in this department, is the fact of how many in eCommerce rely on the PR of the site on which they sell to drive customers to them.

Like I pointed out in How to drive traffic to your store , the days of list it and forget it are over, and it is up to you, not the marketplace, to drive your business.
Are some marketplaces falling down on the job of PR? Yes.  But, the question is why are you depending on their work to drive customers to you?

I did comment on AuctionBytes article:
Great article for sure and it can be applied to so many people and situations.

PR is the responsability of the individual, not the media.
It is up the the individual - in this case owners of marketplaces - to work their PR, to get the word to the media, and press releases is the easiest way to do that. There are a multitude of other ways owners can ramp up the volume around their marketplace using a good PR Campaign .
BUT - I MUST STRESS - NO ONE should rely on ANY marketplace's popularity to sell their products for them. The days of list it and forget it are gone. YOU must work your own PR to drive traffic and sales to YOU.
This is a business folks, and you have a shop on a virtual online mall. the last time I checked, the store in the brick and mortar mall here did their own PR and don't recall seeing the mall doing it for them.

Think about it.  If you list on a smaller venue, is it Bonanzle, eCraterAddoway etc responsiblilty to build your business or is it yours?

renagade offer PR primarily for musicians, but does offer the same high quality PR campaign for eCommerce sellers as well.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bonanzle Welcomes newest team member - Ryan Hicks

Welcome to the newest member of the Bonanzle team, Ryan Hicks. Ryan has been tapped as a user end experience tech to help improve Bonanzle by assuring everyone who visits find the site fun and easy to use. With the addition of a few face book bells and whistles , Ryan has already kicked the user experience up to the next level.

Ryan comes on board with years of experience in web technology with Wetpaint, Skytap and Blue Nile. A close associate of Bonanzle’s new product techie, Alex Berg, Ryan and Alex have worked together for over 10 years and to have this duo together on Bonanzle is exciting.

Stop by and welcome Ryan . And the next time one of your facebook friends shows you the item you have been searching for and its on Bonanzle, you know who the wizard is that made it possible.