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Are ads okay on a t-shirt site?

  • Absolutely.

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Discussion Starter #1
I'll start by using my site as an example.

My site has yet to go live (a week or so away). However, I have the opportunity to place an ad on my site, an animated gif that is linked like the one on the top of this page.

My site/shirts are geared toward the anime/gamer crowd. This ad would be from Rent Anime with whom I've had a subscription with for years.

My thinking is that since the ad matches the crowd I'm trying to target and bring in extra revenue via referrals that it's justified. However, I know this may turn some people off and possibly result in loss of sales which would defeat the purpose of having the ad in the first place.

So, I'd like your opinion on whether or not you feel ads have a place on t-shirt sites or do they take away from them? Are they appropriate only when you start getting ridiculous amounts of traffic, or never appropriate?
 

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So, I'd like your opinion on whether or not you feel ads have a place on t-shirt sites or do they take away from them?
This is just my opinion, but in general, I don't think it's a good idea to have ads on a retail t-shirt site. You might lose customers for a low paying ad or commission. Especially just starting out...you want them paying attention to only your stuff :)

Although, if you have a blog or links page attached to your t-shirt shop, you could include a relevant ad like the one you're talking about into those pages.

Another option would be to include the ad on your "Thank You" page for your store so that your customers have another relevant destination after they are done buying your stuff. Seems like your ad would be really effective there.

Are they appropriate only when you start getting ridiculous amounts of traffic, or never appropriate?
I think if you have a high volume of targeted traffic (hundreds to thousands of unique visitors per day) and you're showing up for a variety of search terms, you may find that a high paying ad would compliment your site well as long as your conversion ratio is decent. Could be that the people reaching your site via varied search terms won't always be looking for t-shirts, so an ad for an anime place might be a good destination for them.

I probably wouldn't do it just starting out because I'd want to test the site as clean as possible, and then make changes.

That's just my opinion though. I'm curious to see what others think, since I've seen more and more ads on retail sites lately.
 

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I'm on the same side of the fence as Rodney. I think that starting out, you want customers to focus on YOU.

I personally wouldn't put ads on my site, no matter how big it got. If it got big without putting ads on it, then I really don't need them, now do I?!
 

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Another aspect depends on how you are getting people to link to you. IF you are running any sort of affiliation program. (like some of the bigger stores have) then the publishers who are linking to your store in hopes of earning some commission off the sale will get REALLY irate if they find out you are diverting some of the traffic away from your store through that banner. They will delete their links to you and send nasty letters around the globe boycotting you.
 

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sort of in line with this subject...how do you feel about top list voting buttons on the site? on the one hand i hate it because it makes the site look unclean, however at the same time putting the button anywhere else results in fewer votes which results in fewer hits which results in fewer sales. thoughts?
 

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sort of in line with this subject...how do you feel about top list voting buttons on the site?
I'm a bit biased on this one, but I think it can be done tastefully and still get you votes.

You could also do tests on the different "voting" websites and see which ones actually send you traffic after you've gotten a few votes (1 - 2 months with topsite x, 1-2 months with topsite Y, 1 - 2 months with topsite z), and if you wanted to just use one or 2 voting links on your site, you could use the ones that were most effective.
 

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My initial (instant) reaction is "NO!" - ads on a retail site that should be making money from retail are a baaad idea. I've seen way too many t-shirt sites putting google ads on the page, and it's extremely off-putting.

But then I remembered the IndieClick network and the fact that a lot of sites I like have ads on them. It helps that the ads are for other quality sites of a similar nature (i.e. they're not irrelevant pap), and they're tasteful banners that generally give me a reason to want to click. Plus a lot of them are sites I regularly visit anyway, so it's like seeing another familiar friend at the top of the page ;)

It's dangerous to be sure. I don't think it's a great idea, but it could be okay with the right site/ad combination.

I think Rodney makes a really good point about at least starting a new site with a clean slate though.
 

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Hi all,

To my way of thinking, a potential customer comes to your website to see what you have to offer. Custom printing, Cafepress products, etc..., makes no difference.

To be confronted with any kind of an ad, banner or even link that brings them AWAY from your goods is kinda silly. Some are price comparing, some are looking for a specific shirt or apron, but the point is, why should a link take your customer's money somewhere else?

Just my opinion. Oh yes, all of my sites link to either my other products or services except from the directory.

Toonsign
 
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